Bhopal : The spate of farmer suicides in Madhya Pradesh continues unabated. Three farmers committed suicide in the last two days under pressure from banks and moneylenders, taking the number of farmer deaths to 45 in 28 days.
A debt-ridden farmer on Sunday killed himself by jumping in front of a train in Madhya Pradesh’s Sagar district. Tekram Kurmi, 48, was the owner of six acres of land in Pipariya village under the limits of Garhakota police station. Tekram owed money to the bank and moneylenders besides his crop was also ruined, his family said.
Tekram went for a walk on Sunday morning, after which his family was informed that he killed himself by jumping in front of a train near Girwar railway station. R.N. Tiwari, the officer in-charge of Garhakota police station, confirmed that the farmer committed suicide by jumping in front of a train. He, however, said the reason behind the suicide was not yet known.
He said the Government Railway Police (GRP) is investigating the case. Similarly, Jhalkan Singh, 33, consumed insecticide on Saturday in Vidisha under the limits of Garhakota police station. The farmer, who owned 11 acres of land, was upset after his crop got destroyed and also his failure to pay back debt.
Shakuntala Bamnia, officer in-charge of Kurwai police station, said he had met Jhalkan’s wife Rani but she did not talk about any debt. It is suspected that Jhalkan committed suicide as his wife often remained sick. The couple has a three-year-old daughter. Another farmer Maniram, 45, consumed insecticide on Friday in Ghusgawan village in Morena district. He was admitted to a local hospital initially and then taken to Gwalior for treatment but he died later.
Maniram’s family said he was upset as he had a Rs four lakh debt and had failed to pay a Rs 50,000 electricity bill. Sub Divisional Magistrate (Revenue) Pradeep Tomar told the media the reason behind the suicide was not yet known. Earlier, on July 5, three farmers committed suicide.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in Madhya Pradesh has categorically ruled out waiving of farmers’ loans. Farmers in Madhya Pradesh had launched a protest last month demanding better prices for their produce and debt relief. On June 6, five protesting farmers were killed in police firing in Madhya Pradesh’s Mandsaur district, while one injured farmer died later.
Though the protest was called off following the government’s intervention, farmers have been ending their lives over debt and other problems. To pay tribute to the farmers killed in Mandsaur, farmers’ leaders began the ‘Kisan Mukti Yatra’ on July 6 with the assistance of social institutions. The Yatra will pass through six states and reach Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on July 18 where the farmers’ leaders will speak on the “anti-farmer policies” of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government.