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Thursday, December 02, 2021

Kin claim suicide over fertiliser; govt says MP man not a farmer

According to Dhanpal's family in Piprol village in Naisaria tehsil, he had borrowed Rs 4,000 for buying fertiliser but failed to do so due to its shortage

Written by Iram Siddique | Bhopal |
Updated: October 31, 2021 4:32:39 am
Shivraj Singh Chouhan, MP bypolls, Madhya Pradesh bye elections, Shivraj Singh Chouhan elections, MP elections, Bhopal news, MP news, Indian express newsCM Shivraj Singh Chouhan (File)

A 43-year-old farmer in Madhya Pradesh’s Ashok Nagar district allegedly died by suicide by consuming poison Thursday night. Dhanpal Yadav’s family claimed he ended his life after failing to procure fertiliser for his 3.5 bigha land even as the district administration said he did not own any land but worked as a driver.

According to Dhanpal’s family in Piprol village in Naisaria tehsil, he had borrowed Rs 4,000 for buying fertiliser but failed to do so due to its shortage. “He consumed poison on Thursday. We rushed him to the block hospital where the doctors asked us to take him to the district hospital but he died on the way,” said his brother Rajbeer. The family said Dhanpal was also saddled with a previous Rs 2.5 lakh loan.

A press note by the Ashok Nagar police, however, quoted Dhanpal’s brother, Sishupal, who reportedly spoke to him while he was being treated at the block hospital, as saying the deceased did not mention poison. It also also quoted Dhanpal’s wife as saying he did not talk about the purchase of fertiliser or farming.

District Collector R Umamaheshwari said, “He did not have a farm land in his name and he worked as a driver.”

Explaining the alleged shortage of fertilisers, she said untimely rain had irrigated large portions of land. Fertiliser sales were also 20 per cent higher than the usual as more mustard had been sown this time. “We are making best efforts to meet the increased demand,” she said. However, Sishupal said, “The land is in our father’s name but it does not mean we are not farmers. We cannot survive on 3 bighas of land… so we both took up odd jobs…Lenders have been harassing us and our land is not ready for sowing, forcing my brother to take the drastic step.”

While the cause of Yadav’s death will be ascertained after the postmortem report is out, farmers in several districts are grappling with shortage of fertilisers ahead of the sowing season of rabi crops. Ashok Nagar too has witnessed protests over the shortage. In Kailaras town of Morena, police resorted to lathicharge after a stampede-like situation outside a fertiliser shop.

Asking farmers not to panic, CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan said Thursday, “I have spoken to the Centre and demanded 32 additional fertiliser rakes by October 31. There is Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Di-ammonium Phosphate and Urea in adequate quantity,” he said.

Leader of Opposition Kamal Nath hit out at the government, saying: “Everyday, farmers are resorting to protests and now even committing suicide… and the government is making a mockery of their distress.”

Facing shortage, getting assurance

Fertiliser shortage is an issue staring at multiple state governments. MP Chief Minister Shivaj Singh Chouhan has asked farmers not to panic, and assured them that their needs will be taken care of. He has said that he has spoken with the Centre and demanded 32 additional fertiliser rakes by Sunday. He also asserted that nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, di-ammonium phosphate and urea are stocked in adequate quantity.

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