A young farmer was on Thursday allegedly beaten to death by the henchmen of an irrigation contractor at Ippagudem village in Station Ghanpur mandal of Warangal district for refusing to allow his field to be taken up for canal digging. The victim’s death sparked protests amongst the angry villagers who went on a rampage to torch a poclain, a miller, a water tanker and two earth-movers at the nearby Devadula project site.
The 27-year-old L Shekhar was beaten up severely by sub-contractor Suman Rao’s goons and succumbed to his injuries at the spot. Enraged villagers from Ippagudem and nearby Boinagudem attacked the contractor’s office and destroyed equipment.
Trouble started when Rao commenced digging at Shekhar’s field in Boinagudem after having shut down the borewell. When Shekhar’s father Uppalaiah objected to this, Rao’s men beat him up. Shekhar’s elder brother Narsimhulu, who tried to come to his father’s rescue, too was beaten up. Thereafter, Shekhar approached the contractor at his office in Ippagudem and pleaded with him to spare his fields.
However, Rao reportedly abused Shekhar and refused to stop the work. The contractor claimed that since he had obtained official permission for it, he would go ahead with the work. Shekhar reportedly told the contractor that the land was his family’s only source of livelihood and requested him to stop work. An irate Rao then directed his goons to ‘teach a lesson’ to Shekhar, something that ultimately proved fatal for the young ryot.
Shekhar is survived by wife Venkatalaxmi and their two children, Sravanthi and Pavan. Station Ghanpur superintendent of police Mallesh said that a case had been registered against the contractor and his men, who fled the spot. A manhunt has been launched to nab the assailants.