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Friday, Sep 20, 2019

‘Depressed over debt’, garlic farmer consumes pesticide

This is the fourth case of farmer suicide in Rajasthan in the past one week

jaipur Updated: Jun 27, 2017 20:05 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
The farmer, Murlidhar Meena, was reportedly unable to sell  his garlic crop at the desired price.
The farmer, Murlidhar Meena, was reportedly unable to sell his garlic crop at the desired price. (HT File/AH Zaidi)

A 32-year-old debt-ridden garlic farmer allegedly committed suicide at his home in Sripura village of Kota district in Rajasthan after failing to make any profits on his produce, police said Tuesday. This is the fourth case of farmer suicide in the state in the past one week.

While the family members of Murlidhar Meena have claimed that he was depressed over the financial burden, the police officials said the cause of the death was yet to be ascertained.

The family members also added that Meena was having trouble in his marital life and his wife along with their children had moved to her parents’ house, a day prior to the incident, a police official said.

“Meena had cultivated garlic in his field and had sent the produce to a nearby market. For the past 9 to 10 days, he had been going to the market everyday to look for buyers who would be able to pay a good price,” said Narayan Singh, station house officer, Ayana police station.

The SHO said that after returning from the market on Monday, Meena started consuming alcohol.

“After a while, a heavily intoxicated Meena made a phone call to his in-laws’ place where his wife was staying and told them that he will consume poison. Immediately after that he consumed pesticide,” said Singh.

The police said that after getting the news, neighbours rushed him to nearby Maharao Bheem Singh (MBS) hospital where he died late in the night during treatment, the SHO added.

Meena had borrowed from Kisan Credit Card (KCC) and taken loan from other banks and was under heavy debt, his family members have told the police, Singh said.

The body was handed over to the family after post-mortem Tuesday morning and a case has been registered by the police.

“Preliminary investigation suggests that he was in a highly inebriated state when he consumed poison. We will go to the market to determine whether he had sustained a loss, which made him take the extreme step,” said Singh.

Viscera has been sent to laboratory for test and the exact reason behind his death could be clear only when the report is received, the SHO added.

This is the fourth alleged suicide by a debt-ridden farmer in Kota region the past one week.

On June 24, 60-year-old Sheikh Hanif, a farmer, allegedly committed suicide by consuming poison. A day earlier, on June 23, another farmer, identified as Bagadilal Rathore, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree in Jhalawar district on June 23.

Prior to that a 30-year-old farmer, Sanjeev Meena, was found hanging from a tree in Baran district on June 21.

The government officials, however, maintained that none of the five farmers took to the extreme step due to debt.

Rajasthan agriculture minister Prabhu Lal had Monday claimed that no farmer in the state has committed suicide due to financial reasons.

Lal, speaking in Baran district, also said that if any farmer in the state is proved to have committed suicide due to agriculture crisis or debt, he would quit politics.

The opposition, meanwhile, slammed the government over the issue.

“Farmers are committing suicide in Rajasthan after not being able to repay debts and the government is rubbing salt on their wounds by refusing to acknowledge the fact,” said state Congress president Sachin Pilot.

First Published: Jun 27, 2017 20:04 IST