Mounting debt coupled by recurrent losses in agriculture as well as pressure on the part of the bank to repay the loan, besides the stress on the family front, allegedly forced an Amritsar farmer to commit suicide by consuming a poisonous substance at Fatehpur Rajputan village, near here on Monday.
However, the police are yet to register a case in this regard, which the kin of the deceased say is as an attempt by the police to hush up the case.
The deceased has been identified as Mangal Singh (62). The incident occurred on Monday morning when the farmer was in his fields, but the death occurred later in the evening in a private hospital.
Giving the details, Sukhdev Singh, son of the deceased, said his father had gone to the fields owned by the family in the morning where he consumed some poisonous substance. “He, then, returned home and lay on a cot and started vomiting. His condition started deteriorating and when we asked him the reason, he said he had consumed the pesticide used for treating the paddy crop,” said Sukhdev.
He added that the family rushed him to the hospital where he died in the evening. He said his father had taken a massive loan amounting to almost `10 lakhs from a bank in 1993, for purchasing a tractor, which had somehow snowballed into a huge amount, despite the repayment of a significant amount over the years.
“Despite repaying a major chunk of the loan, the bank officials claimed that my father owed them `16 lakh. This coupled with continual losses in agriculture and tension on the family front in the form of illnesses of some family members, who required treatment, caused him to take the extreme step,” he added.
He added that the authorities concerned of the bank had asked them to curb the agricultural expenses and repay the loan as soon as possible. “My father had even received a letter from the bank in this regard, besides several reminders to repay the loan and was under pressure on account of the same,” Sukhdev Singh maintained.
While on Monday cops had been denying the suicide, claiming that Mangal Singh was alive, on Tuesday, SSP Amritsar Rural Jasdeep Singh Saini could not be contacted for his comments despite repeated attempts.