Villagers in Mandya dist to boycott LS bypoll over aid

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aidMandya , Aug 15;Residents of a village in the district have threatened to boycott the Aug 21 Lok Sabha by-poll for Mandya seat, protesting the Centre’s “failure” to provide compensation to the family of a BSF jawan who drowned in a river near Indo-Bangladesh border.

Agraharabachahalli residents charge the government has let down the family of J Jayarame Gowda, a 35-year-old BSF soldier hailing from the village, who drowned a month ago in Surma river in Mizoram near Indo-Bangladesh border.

“All I got from BSF officers on the day of the cremation was the national flag which covered the coffin and Rs 23,000,” lamented Gowda’s 28-year old wife Mamata.

The villagers have put up Gowda’s cut-out along with a banner at the entrance of the village, denouncing the government for not fulfilling its  promise to provide compensation to the family.

Mamata today said she was yet to receive a communique from the BSF headquarters about monetary relief. “I didn’t get any assurance…  how I could take care of my 18-month-old girl as I’ve no source of income. I haven’t received any help from the state government either,” she said.

Mamata also said her husband’s family owns three acres of dry land shared by his four brothers. “A senior BSF officer came to the village and collected details about my family, saying the information was required for deciding compensation amount but there has been no word after that,” she said.

Recalling how she was offered a temporary anganwadi worker’s job by the local MLA, Mamata said “he said it would be given if there was a vacancy but I asked for a government job, at least of a second division clerk,” she said.

She also said the last time she spoke to her husband was on July 10. “He talked for ten minutes, saying he had to carry food by boat to his colleagues in nearby posts. A day later BSF officers told me my husband had drowned,” she said.

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