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2 debt-ridden farmers end life, another attempts suicide in MP’s Bundelkhand region

All the farmers had taken loans from money lenders or banks, and were unable to repay them.

bhopal Updated: Jul 02, 2017 22:19 IST
Anupam Pateriya
Anupam Pateriya
Hindustan Times, Sagar
Police said they were investigating the details of the cases.(REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)

Two farmers allegedly committed suicide while a woman farmer attempted to kill herself in Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh on Saturday.

More than 30 farmers have committed suicide allegedly due to debt burden since June 6, when violent farmers’ protests rocked the state.

Prem Lal Ahirwar (23), from Semraghat village in Sagar district, allegedly committed suicide by jumping in front of a running train plying between Silodha and Khurai railway stations on Saturday evening.

Kalyan Ahirwar, brother of the deceased, said their 2.5 acre farmland was mortgaged for Rs 2.5 lakh loan with a local money lender. They had taken the loan to repay an earlier debt.

The money lender was exerting pressure on the brothers to either repay the loan or get the land registered in his name, he alleged.

“Our gold and silver ornaments are already mortgaged with local jeweller. Hence, we didn’t have any other money to repay the loan. Prem was under huge stress due to the circumstances,” Kalyan said.

Assistant sub-inspector of police, Jagdish Bhagat, the investigation officer in the case, said seven slips regarding the ornaments mortgaged were recovered from the deceased’s pocket.

He said the suicide for debt can be confirmed only after investigations.

In Tikamgarh district, Dharam Singh (45), a resident of Bandha village allegedly committed suicide by hanging from a pole on the outskirts of the village.

His neighbour Surendra Singh told reporters that the deceased had two acre farmland and had a burden of loan taken from a local money lender. On June 18, the deceased’s daughter’s marriage was solemnised with financial help from neighbours.

Assistant sub-inspector of police, Nandkishore Viswakarma said the deceased had a small land holding and he was addicted to liquor. However, police were investigating to know the reason behind the death.

In the third case, a 35-year-old woman farmer, Ahilya, allegedly made an attempt to end her life by consuming poisonous substance.

However, her family members rushed her to a nearby community health centre from where she was referred to Damoh district hospital.

She had taken loans from a bank, a co-operative society and a local money lender.

Her husband Radhe Shyam Kurmi told reporters that they had six acres of land. In the last few years, they faced drought while this year, the crop was not good. They had a loan burden of about Rs 2 lakh.

The local money lender’s repeated demands and bank notices for repayment of loans nagged them.

Damoh additional SP, Arvind Dubey said police were looking into the matter.

The farm crisis in Madhya Pradesh has been under the spotlight since June 6, when five farmers died in police firing during demonstrations to demand a loan waiver and better crop prices. The spate of suicides has continued since then.

Farmers in the central state have demanded the government to make arrangements to procure the crop on time nor intervened to ensure a reasonable price.

From February 2016 to mid-February 2017, 1,982 farmers and farm labourers reportedly committed suicide, which was one-fifth of the total suicides in the state, where 21,000 farmers have taken their lives in 16 years.

The National Crime Records Bureau attributed the reasons to crop failure, failure to sell produce, inability to repay loans, and other non-agriculture factors such as poverty and property disputes.

First Published: Jul 02, 2017 22:09 IST