One hundred and twelve farmers committed suicide in Gujarat between 2008-2012,with 40 of them in the last one year. Disclosing these figures collected under the Right to Information Act (RTI),a social activist from Ahmedabad has moved a public interest litigation (PIL) before the Gujarat High Court,seeking compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the families of these farmers and a change in the agriculture policy of the state government.
The petitioner has been identified as Bharatsinh Jhala,who runs a voluntary organisation in Ahmedabad. In the PIL,Jhala has produced figures of farmers suicide in Gujarat,collected from the state government,since 2008. The figures show 112 farmers committed suicide since 2008 mainly due to crop failure and their inability to repay their debt.
The petitioner contended that the police documents related to the suicides indicate that the farmers did not get crop insurance money that further deteriorated their financial condition.
The petitioner has sought a range of directions by the court to the state government that includes a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the families of each of the farmers who committed suicide. The petitioner has also sought a direction to the state government to announce a financial package for farmers during drought and financial assistance for water conservation. The petition may come up for hearing in June.