Hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) on farmers’ suicide in Punjab, the high court has directed the state chief secretary to look into the matter and take remedial steps.
The division bench of Justice SK Mittal and Justice HS Sidhu disposed of the PIL filed by Mohali resident Malkeet Singh who claimed that more than 10,000 farmers and farm labourers had committed suicide in the state so far.
The petitioner had submitted that though the efforts were being made by the government to help the families of persons who committed suicide, but no preventive measures were being taken to avoid the situation.
The petitioner stated that a survey conducted by the three universities in the state from the year 2000 to 2010 revealed that 3,954 farmers and 2,972 landless labourers had committed suicide. The farming community was passing through great financial constraints as input cost had gone up and landholding had come down, said the survey.
The data given to court reveals 1,276 victims committed suicide by consuming poison, 170 ended life by hanging and 93 were jumped in front of a train in the Moonak sub-division (district Sangrur) of the state alone.