Mandsaur violence: Farmer commits suicide in MP, sixth in a week
Officials said Ramesh Basnei, a farmer in Balaghat had an outstanding loan of Rs 25,000 and died in his field on a day chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan met families of the five farmers gunned down in police firing in Mandsaur.india Updated: Jun 15, 2017 00:22 IST
A 42-year-old debt-ridden farmer consumed pesticide and died in Madhya Pradesh’s Balaghat on Wednesday, the sixth farm suicide in a week in a region rocked by violent protests for better crop prices and a loan waiver.
Officials said Ramesh Basnei had an outstanding loan of Rs 25,000 and died in his field on a day chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan met families of the five farmers gunned down in police firing in Mandsaur on June 6.
The deaths sparked a wave of protests across the state’s Malwa belt, and adjoining Rajasthan and Maharashtra, as angry farmers torched vehicles and ransacked property.
The farmers, many of whom have dumped tonnes of produce on the roads and drained litres of milk, say they have been left in the lurch by the state government as rates have crashed due to a bumper crop and a cash crunch post demonetisation.
Shaken by the protests and the rising anger, Chouhan made a breakneck tour of the region and met the aggrieved families, promising a slew of things ranging from free education and waiving mortgage to statues for the dead farmers.
“The accused will be punished…Today I am very pained and emotional,” he tweeted after meeting a family in Mandsaur’s Badwan village.
But his overtures failed to impress the Opposition as Congress leaders went on a 72-hour demonstration in Bhopal and Guna MP Jyotiraditya Scindia addressed farmers at several agricultural markets.
“It has become impossible for farmers to sell their produce… Modi-Chouhan governmet want a farmer-free India,” Scindia said.
The Congress is aiming to cash in on popular anger against the BJP government to win next year’s assembly elections in a state it has been out of power for 14 years. The farm suicides and protests have embarrassed Chouhan, who calls himself a farmer’s son.