Debt-ridden farmer ‘commits suicide’ in Uttarakhand; fourth since June
Balvinder Singh (38) of Bajpur had taken a loan of Rs 7,49,896 from Punjab National Bank and was asked to pay by June 30, which he could not, following which the bank issued another deadline for July 14.dehradun Updated: Jul 13, 2017 12:05 IST
A farmer, having an outstanding loan of nearly Rs 7.5 lakh taken from a bank, allegedly committed suicide in Udham Singh Nagar district of Uttarakhand, taking the number of farmer deaths in the state to four since June.
Balvinder Singh (38) of Bajpur was found dead on Wednesday morning. As per police, he died after consuming aluminium phosphide.
However, US Nagar district magistrate Neeraj Khairwal said the cause of death is unknown as no suicide note was found near the body. “Balwinder’s family should have informed police on time to record his statement,” he said.
Singh had taken a loan of Rs 7,49,896 from Punjab National Bank and was asked to pay by June 30, which he could not, following which the bank issued another deadline for July 14.
Chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat has ordered a magisterial probe. In a tweet, he claimed the government was trying best to resolve the issues of the farmers.
This is the fourth death of debt-stressed farmers. The first death was reported in Pithoragarh district whereas the rest three deaths have been reported from US Nagar, which is a major agricultural district.
Nurseries to be held responsible for crop failure: CM Trivendra Rawat
In a tweet, chief minister Rawat said the government has decided to provide up to Rs 1 lakh loan to farmers at 2% interest rate.
“Government is soon going to introduce Nursery Act. Under the act, nurseries will be held responsible if the crops fail. Moreover, in every three months, there will be a field audit of the crops,” the CM tweeted.
He also said that his government was committed to carrying out Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s promise to double the income of farmers by 2022.
Farmers’ suicide has become a highly politicised issue in the hill state. The opposition Congress recently conducted a state-wide protest against farmers’ death and also handed over a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee during his visit to Dehradun earlier this week.
“Government has terribly failed in the state. Back to back farmers’ deaths prove our allegations,” party spokesperson MD Joshi said.
(With inputs from Anupam Trivedi, Dehradun)
First Published: Jul 13, 2017 12:05 IST