Five farmers, including a woman, have committed suicide in last the 48 hours after failing to repay loans following crop failure in drought-hit Maharashtra’s Vidarbha district.
With the death of these five farmers, the toll has risen to 13 this month and as many as 135 farmers committed suicide because of the agrarian crisis since January this year.
According to reports, three members of a tribal family ended their lives in Buldhana district in western Vidarbha while one farmer each from Yavatmal and Wardha district committed suicide.
Four members of the Masane family consumed pesticide at Malthana village in Sangrampur tahsil of Buldhana district on Thursday night.
Yashwant Solanke, additional superintendent of police of Buldhana district, said the family’s neighbours noticed them after they had eaten the poison and rushed them to the nearby hospital.
Laxmi Masane, Dinesh Masane and Suresh Masane died soon after arrival while the head of the family Nansingh Masane is battling for his life at a government hospital in Akola, reports said.
Nansingh had borrowed money from a state-run bank and private money lenders during the last kharif season. However, he could not repay the loans because of crop failure.
In Yavatmal’s Adad village, 36-year-old Shivaji Bhimrao Kharat consumed pesticide on Thursday. He died during treatment at the local hospital.
A woman farmer killed herself in Wardha’s Hetikundi village as she was worried she would not be able to get fresh loans after defaulting on a previous one following crop failure. Thirty five-year-old Reeta Tagde borrowed around Rs 1 lakh loan from a bank.
Kishore Tiwari, chairperson of the special task force, appointed by the Maharashtra government to address the agrarian crisis urged distressed farmers not to take any drastic steps.
“I am talking with the government to provide fresh loans to all bank defaulters in the ensuing kharif season. Besides, we are also insisting for a better remuneration for the agricultural produce from the next season,” Tiwari said.