Maharashtra farmer commits suicide, body remains hanging from tree for 6 days

Akola (Maha): A 62-year-old tribal farmer allegedly committed suicide by hanging from a tree in Maharashtra's Akola district, police said, adding that the decomposed body remained hanging for the last six days before it was spotted on Tuesday.

While family members of the deceased Tulsiram Shinde blamed destruction of his soybean crop in the recent unseasonal rain as the trigger, police said the case is under investigation. Shinde's decomposed body was spotted hanging from a tree in Navegaon forest area, 70 kms from Akola city, by some forest guards on Tuesday afternoon, said Channi police station inspector Ganesh Vanare.

He said Shinde had gone missing from his residence in Pimpaloli village, located nearby the forest area, on November 13. "He appears to have hanged himself using a rope on November 13. However, the incident remained unknown until Tuesday because the tree, from which the body was found hanging, is located deep inside the forest," the police inspector said.

Family members of the deceased, however, claimed that the soybean crop sown by him on four acres got destroyed in unseasonal rains in the region. They claimed that the family fell on hard times due to the crop loss. When questionned about the claims made by Shinde's kin about the trigger behind his suicide, the police inspector said the investigation is underway.

"We are awaiting postmortem report to ascertain the exact cause behind Shinde's death," he said, adding that a case of accidental death was registered. Unseasonal rains and delayed retreat of monsoon had damaged Kharip crops of farmers in many districts of the state, with Marathwada and North Maharashtra regions bearing the brunt.

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari had on Saturday announced a financial relief to affected farmers to the tune of Rs 8,000 per hectare up to two hectares for agricultural Kharif crops and Rs 18,000 per hectare up to two hectares for horticulture/perennial crops. Dubbing the financial assistance "meagre", the Opposition parties had demanded that it be raised to Rs 25,000 per hectare. Earlier this month, the then chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had announced Rs 10,000 crore as immediate financial assistance for the affected agriculturists.

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