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Nine more farmers commit suicide

Nine more cotton growers of Vidarbha region end their lives in last 48 hours, reports Pradip Kumar Maitra.

india Updated: Feb 07, 2007 18:16 IST

With the ongoing agrarian crisis in Vidarbha region continuing unabated, nine more cotton growers of the region have ended their lives in last 48 hours, according to reports reaching in Nagpur on Wednesday.

Three suicides were reported in Yavatmal while two from Wardha and one each from Washim, Amravati, Nagpur and Bhandara district. Yavatmal is the worst affected district in the region where over 600 farmers have committed suicide because of debts and not getting remunerative price of raw cotton in the current kharif season.

The latest victims were identified as:  Kisan Rathod of Parjana village, Namdeo Derkar of Wegon, Sanjay Junghare, Gharod (all Yavatmal), Mukesh Chandel of Belona (Nagpur), Gopal Ganjare of Nachangaon, Baburao Bawne of Talodi,  (both in Wardha), Deepak Kuthe, Agarwadi (Washim), Shyamrao Bhelawe of Sawli Dongargaon (Bhandara) and Madhukar Lawkar of Danoja Delhi in Amravati district. Of them, Namdeo Derkar of Wegaon was a close relative of Kalaskar family, where the father and son duo had committed suicide due to crop failure and crippling debts last year.

With the suicide of nine more farmers, the death toll has reached to 18 this month while as many as 1062 farmers of the region have ended their lives since the prime minister Manmohan Singh visited Vidarbha and announced an economic package of Rs 3750-crore in July last year.

Kishore Tiwari of Vidarbha Janandolan Samiti, which has been documenting the farmers' suicide since 2001, demanded a bonus of Rs 500 for every quintal of raw cotton to bail out the crisis-ridden farmers immediately. "The state government had provided such bonus a couple of years back. There is a need to restore the scheme in view of present crisiss," he pointed out.

He also urged the state government to take the issue of unabated farm suicides to the union government before the annual budget for finding an effective solution to arrest this disturbing trend.

Email Pradip Kumar Maitra: pradipmaitra@hindustantimes.com