Debt-ridden farmer commits suicide

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

BHOPAL - In the second incident in less than a fortnight of a farmer committing suicide in the state, a debt-ridden farmer poured kerosene and burned himself alive in his fields in Damoh district of Madhya Pradesh Wednesday, officials said.

Nandram Raikwar, a farmer of Kalua village in Damoh, committed suicide as his crops sown on 20 acres of land were ruined due to unseasonal rains and a locust attack, his uncle Parichit Raikwar said.

“He was in debt of more than Rs.1 lakh. He was very much disturbed because of it,” Parichit said in Damoh, some 270 km from here.

However, officials said Nandram was a labourer and his death was being passed off as a farmer suicide.

“We will recommend compensation under government norms, but first we have to check his background and the reason for his death,” Tahsildar (revenue official) D.C. Yadav said.

A 35-year-old farmer consumed poison Dec 15 in Damoh district as rains destroyed his crops, after which he was unable to repay a loan of Rs.60,000.

The latest death comes around a week after around one lakh farmers protested outside Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s residence in Bhopal and asked for action on a 183-point charter of demands, including proper power supply in rural pockets, good value for their crops and good quality of fertilizers.

The farmers called off their agitation after the government accepted 50 of their 183 demands, though no action has been taken on them so far.

A whooping 60 percent of the state’s Kharif crop has been destroyed due to unseasonal rains in September. Prolonged power cuts and fertiliser shortage have added to the farmers’ woes.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 8,360 farmers have committed suicide since 2005. Madhya Pradesh is among the top five states in suicides by farmer.

Filed under: Accidents and Disasters

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