A 27-year-old farmer from Marathwada, who had consumed insecticide in front of the Mantralaya gates on March 23, died on Saturday in the hospital, once again highlighting the agrarian crisis and the plight of cultivators in the drought-hit regions of the state.
According to the police, Madhav Kadam, the deceased farmer, took the extreme step as he was upset after being denied compensation for the crop damage he had sustained.
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A third drought spell in four years has ravaged crops in Marathwada. The agrarian crisis has resulted in a spike in farmer suicides in Maharashtra.
Official statistics show that 3,228 farmers ended their lives in 2015 in the state. The BJP government has been facing severe flak over its inability to arrest the worrying trend.
Kadam had been admitted to the state-run Gokuldas Tejpal hospital where he breathed his last on Saturday morning, despite a line of medical intervention by medics.
Hospital superintendent Dr D R Kulkarni said, “Kadam was given a stomach wash to remove traces of poison from his body. We also injected antidotes to negate the effects of poison.”
In his statement, recorded by the Marine Drive police on March 23, Kadam had complained that he was being denied the extent of compensation for crop damage that he was entitled to.
Kadam, a marginal farmer, alleged that the Nanded Collectorate had only provided him relief assistance totalling Rs 4,400 per hectare, though he was entitled to get Rs 6,800 per hectare.
“In his statement, Kadam said that he felt frustrated that farmers were not being given their due relief, despite suffering losses,” said senior police inspector Popat Yadav.
Yadav added that Kadam had consumed poison outside the state secretariat as a mark of protest. The police said that the farmer had similarly attempted suicide in December, 2015.
“He had consumed insecticide outside Mantralaya gates even then, but had survived the episode,” a police officer said.
Kadam is survived by his mother, a dependent sister, wife, and two children. The police said that his brother-in-law claimed his mortal remains.
His last rites will be performed in Nanded. The police have filed an accidental death report in the case.