Apparently distressed over debts, one more farmer allegedly killed himself on Tuesday in Madhya Pradesh, which saw an agitation by cultivators last month. The latest incident took place in Sehore, the home district of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan. In this district alone, the number of farmers’ suicides has gone up to ten (since the agitation).
“The body of Suraj Singh Gurjar was found hanging from the branch of a tree in his agricultural field in Pathariya village (of Sehore district) this morning,” Ahmedpur police station in-charge B D Singh said. A case was registered and a probe was launched, the officer said adding that the exact reason behind his extreme step would be known after the inquiry.
However, Jaswant Singh, brother of the deceased, claimed that Gurjar was under a lot of stress due to debts. “Our family jointly owned 45 acres of land, but poor agricultural produce and inability to repay the loan of Rs 10 lakh forced him to take the extreme step,” Jaswant said.
Since June 8, farmers’ suicides were reported from Sehore, Hoshangabad, Raisen, Dhar, Neemuch, Mandsaur, Sagar, Chhatarpur, Narsinghpur, Sehore, Tikamgarh and Vidisha districts. In the first fortnight of June, western Madhya Pradesh witnessed a major farmers’ agitation over loan waiver and remunerative prices, which was fuelled further by the death of five persons in police firing in Mandsaur district on June 6.
The Congress had yesterday claimed that over 50 farmer suicides had taken place within a month. “Over 50 farmers have ended their lives since June 8. Farmers are in a dejected mood and killing themselves after the police firing which left five dead and six injured in Mandsaur on June 6,” state Congress spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi had said.