Two farmers in Chhattisgarh have allegedly committed suicide in the past four days. This comes days after farmers from across the state blockaded national highways on June 16 as part of a nationwide protest. The Congress party has taken up the issue strongly, with the state president meeting the families of both farmers on Monday. The police, however, said that they have not yet ascertained why the farmers committed suicide, but have pointed to factors not related to farming as possible reasons.
On Thursday, in Rajnandgaon district’s Gopalpur block, Bhushan Gaikwad committed suicide with family members alleging that he took the step as he was under heavy debt. On Sunday, in Kawardha village, Ramjhul Shu also committed suicide, and was found hanging from a tree.
A senior police official said, “In the first case, there was also a family feud which could have been the reason for suicide. In the second case in Kwardha, the family have told us that there was no financial trouble. However, no firm conclusions have been drawn at this stage, and we are looking at everything in a fair manner.”
However, the Congress and farmer groups in Chhattisgarh have said that the government is to be blamed. They alleged that despite promising a paddy bonus, as well as various other schemes, the government has failed to deliver, and are crumbling against the weight of heavy farm loans.