OHRC asks Odisha Govt to prevent recurrence of farmer suicides

Bhubaneswar: Taking a serious view of spurt in farmers’ suicide in the state, Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today asked the government to have a plan of action to prevent recurrence of such cases, after which the Congress slammed the BJD regime branding it as “anti-farmer.”

Passing an order on a petition filed by a delegation of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) on October 28, the OHRC expected the action taken report of the government to be submitted by December 2. which is adversely impacting on agricultural production, expected the government to make an appropriate plan of action to ward off any further recurrence of such cases of suicide.

It said a copy of the memorandum along with enclosures submitted by OPCC be sent to the state Chief Secretary for a serious look to the matter and apprise the Commission about the plan of action proposed to be taken to combat the situation leading to a spate of such unfortunate deaths of farmers.

Armed with the Commission’s order, Harichandan mounted a scathing attack on the Naveen Patnaik government dubbing it as “anti-farmer” and holding it responsible for rising incidents of farmer suicides.

Describing the situation as a major crisis, he claimed the distressed peasants were forced to take the extreme step because of indifference and inaction of the state government. Charging the BJD government of failing to visit the affected areas and families of deceased farmers, Harichandan alleged the ministers and officers confined themselves to the comforts of the state secretariat without paying heed to the plight of the peasants.

In its petition to OHRC, the PCC urged it to direct the state government to tell the Centre to enhance the MSP for paddy to Rs 2,500 and to lift the ban on provision of bonus over and above the MSP on agricultural produces, he said. The PCC also sought a direction to the state government to declare loan waiver in respect to all agricultural loans and to give an ex-gratia of Rs ten lakh to the families of farmers who committed suicide, Harichandan said.

It urged the Commission to investigate all cases of suicides committed during the last one year through its own agency and fix liability for such occurrences of suicides on responsible public servants.

While seeking a direction to the state government to harness and stabilise irrigation facilities, the PCC also urged the OHRC to pass appropriate orders to prevent the distressing trend of suicide, he added.

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