Harassed by a moneylender, a farmer committed suicide in Damoh, more than 250km north-east of Bhopal. The victim, Raju Patel (45), took poison substance on Monday. He was admitted to the district hospital in a critical condition where he died on Wednesday.
As per National Crime Record Bureau’s report for the year 2011, as many as 1326 persons engaged in farming activities committed suicide. They include 1132 men and 194 women. The number of such suicides accounted for 14.3% of total suicides in the state.
The family members of the farmer alleged that the farmer took the extreme step due to harassment by a moneylender at their village Chirola under Pathariya police station.
They said Raju had taken a loan of Rs. 1 lakh from the village moneylender Anil Asati a year ago. With heavy rate of interest, the debt swelled to Rs. 2,70,000 in just a year time. Faced with constant harassment by the moneylender, Raju sold his agricultural land to repay the debt.
However, the moneylender insisted that the entire amount was not paid to him. The moneylender's father Santosh and brothers Rajesh and Devendra kept on exerting pressure on Raju to repay the balance.
Raju's brother Kanchedi alleged Raju went to moneylender Anil Asati's house on Monday where he was severely thrashed. After the incident, Raju took poison.
Kanchedi said there was also a possibility that the moneylender or his kin forced Raju to consume poison.
Superintendent of police, Damoh, AK Pandey said police had lodged an FIR. The preliminary investigation suggested that there was some monetary dispute between the two sides. However detailed investigation will reveal the fact.