In a shocking incident, a middle-aged farmer from Yavatmal district has committed suicide on Wednesday evening in front of an Agriculture office after repeatedly being denied financial assistance under the PM package by the administration. This brings the on-going farmers suicide in Vidarbha region count to 1234 since June last year.
According to reports reaching in Nagpur on Thursday, Mahadeo Girsawle, a villager of Tejapur had approached the agriculture office at Wani in the district several times to purchase a bullock cart. Owner of 4-acre of land, Mahadeo is entitled for the financial assistance to purchase a bullock cart under the prime minister's relief package.
The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had announced an economic package of Rs 3750-crore in July this year to bail out the crisis-ridden farmers in the region that included a substantial amount to promote dairy development and other agriculture related items, including financial assistance to purchase bullock carts.
The Agriculture office of Wani had sanctioned an amount of Rs 4,470 to Mahadeo for the purpose. However, the money was not released so far despite Mahadeo visited the office several times. Frustrated over the dilly-dallying tactics of the department over releasing the amount, Mahadeo drank poison outside the agriculture office.
When it was brought to the notice of the office, the panicky officials of Agriculture department immediately shifted him to the local hospital and allegedly put a cheque of Rs 4, 470 in his pocket, showing that he got the cheque in time and the department was nowhere involved in the matter.
The tragic death of Mahadeo generated furor among the villagers of Tejapur and they tried to attack the agriculture office on Wednesday night. However, timely intervention of the police, such attempt was thwarted.
The agitated villagers even refused to perform the last rites of the body till the district administration take a stern action against the guilty officials and give an adequate compensation to the bereaved family.
The additional collector, Anil Bansod rushed to Wani this afternoon and tried to pacify the mob. He announced an inquiry to probe the entire episode. He also assured the mob to ensure that the bereaved family gets adequate compensation.
Wani is the same place where cotton farmers protested earlier this month against delays in procurement of raw cotton, leading to police firing which one farmer was killed.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Bansod described the incident as "unfortunate." I have instructed the Tahsildar, Shyamkant Maske to probe the incident and submit a report within a week.
"It is still a mystery for me that why the farmer has committed suicide despite he got the cheque on Wednesday," he said.
However, he admitted that there was a delay in releasing the cheque on the part of the Agriculture department due to workload.
Meanwhile, ten more farmers in the region have committed suicides in last 48 hours. Of them, three were from Buldhana, two each in Yavatmal and Amravati while one each from Washim, Akola and Bhandara.
With the deaths of these 10 farmers in the region, the toll reached to 76 this month alone while as many as 1234 farmers ended their lives in Vidarbha since June last year.