THREE FARMERS have ended their lives in three different Mansa villages in the last 24 hours due to alleged distress over debts. The victims were identified as Hapreet Singh (30), Gurpiar Singh (27) and Narinder Pal Singh (48). Harpreet of Rangriyal village died on Sunday after consuming poison. He was rushed to a nearby hospital after he was found lying in his fields but was declared dead on arrival.
Harpreet’s cotton field was hit by whitefly attack, and he was unable to carry out recommended sprays due to shortage of funds, his uncle Tej Singh said. He owned thee acre along with his brother, out of which one acre had been mortgaged to the bank for a loan. Gurpreet, his elder brother, said that their outstanding loan from bank, bank, cooperative society and arhtiyas is nearly Rs 7 lakh.
“The family is poor and this is the reason that both had not got married till now as they could not afford a normal living, there was no point marrying and adding more responsibilities,” said Tej Singh. Hapreet’s father had died few years back due to some illness, he added. Gurpreet claimed that they were not getting proper canal water supply for irrigation and this was resulting in successive bad crops. The family cultivated wheat and cotton on rotation basis, he added. The family now plans to approach the Mansa DC for seeking financial help.
In another case, Gurpiar Singh also consumed poison in his fields in village Tahlia. He was found dead on Monday morning. The family owned one and a half acre of land and had debt of Rs 10 lakh, revealed Gurpair’s father, Jagdev Singh. The loan had been taken from bank, commission agents and cooperative society. Gurpiar Singh too was unmarried.
In Mansa’s Ramditewala village, farm labourer Narinder Pal Singh took his own life by jumping before a train Sunday evening. He was 48 years old and had a Rs 2 lakhs debt. Family said that he took the extreme step as he was struggling to pay back the money.
President of Bharti Kisan Union (Ugrahan) from Mansa district, Ram Singh Bhainibagha, “In the past three months, 11 farmers have committed suicide in Mansa alone and authorities are yet to give compensation to their family members. Only files have been moved, and many old files are yet to be entertained….Congress govt is yet to act on their announcement of debt waiver…”