A day after a Rajasthan farmer hanged himself to death during the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) rally in Delhi, a young farmer committed suicide allegedly by consuming poison in a village in Rohtak district on Thursday.
The deceased was identified as Sombir (28) of Ghudhan village of Kalanaur sub-division.
According to his family members, Sombir and his elder brother Subhash had taken 17 acres of agricultural land on lease at `30,000 per acre, but the former was upset as the entire crop got damaged due to water-logging in the recent rains. Subhash said, "On Thursday morning, Sombir returned from the fields and told me that he had consumed poison as the crop got damaged. We rushed him to a hospital in Kalanaur, but doctors referred him to PGIMS Rohtak, where he was declared brought dead".
When contacted, investigation officer ASI Suresh Kumar said, "After the postmortem, the deceased's body has been handed over to his family and police have registered a case under section 174 of CrPC at Kalanaur police station".
Meanwhile, leaders of farmer organisations feel that the spurt in the number of suicides by farmers is the result of government's failure to protect their interests and they are now planning a strategy to build pressure on the government to take some welfare measures for the farming community.
"Suicide by a farmer in the national capital has shaken the country, but the ruling party leaders are still sleeping", said, Bartiya Kisan Union's Haryana president Gurnam Singh Chaduni.
"A couple of incidents of farmer suicides have also been reported from Haryana, but the government has not taken even a single step to assure farmers that it stands behind them and they need not worry", he said while adding that 2015 would be written as a black year in the history of Indian agriculture".
He said, "As our talks with several leaders in state and at the Centre have failed to move both the governments, we are planning to appeal to the farmers to go on a 'Kheti Awkash' (self-imposed moratorium on cultivation) of one year.
"We will not grow or sell our crops to the government for at least one crop year. No doubt it will cause a loss to the farmers, but it is the best way to make the government realise our importance," Chaduni said while adding that farmers needed to get united to pressure the government.
Another farmer leader from Gohana, Satyavrat said, "The government's behavior with the farmers is condemnable. Recently, farmer leaders met Union agriculture minister and he refused to even listen to our demands. Now, we don't have anyone else to go to".
He added, "The farmers are known for their perseverance, but the government has lost its credibility and farmers are now thinking that it will not do anything for them. This is the root cause behind farmers committing suicide". According to farmer leaders, lack of unity among their various organisations is another cause of worry.
As per available information, there are more than 35 farmers' unions and organisations which are active in northern states of Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh and it is difficult to bring them all on a common platform.
"We need to fight together as our internal fights are helping the politicians", said OP Mann of the Mann Khap and national secretary of BKU (Tikait).
"The government has lost its credibility. It must come farward to help the farmers, or else they will have to come on the streets", he added.
SARVJATIYA KHAP MEETING
Meanwhile, the Sarvjatiya Khap has decided to hold a meeting on April 26 in Sisana village of Kharkhoda in Sonepat district to discuss the issues of the farmers. "During the meeting, which has been called specially to discuss the issue of reservation for the Jat community, representatives of all Khaps will also discuss the issue of farmers' suicides", said Jagbir Malik of the Malik Khap.
A total of 14 farmers have died, including six suicides, in the past one month in Haryana districts of Rohtak, Sonepat, Bhiwani, Jind and Jhajjar, which are the worst- affected by the untimely rain and hailstorm.
The farmers are also raising questions over the special girdawari conducted by the state government and the delay in compensation to them.