A debt-ridden Gurdaspur farmer committed suicide on the same day Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh announced crop loan waiver for farmers in the state. Inderjit Singh of Balapindi village near Dinanagar in Gurdaspur consumed a poisonous substance at his farm on Monday evening. While his family rushed him to a government hospital in Dinanagar, he succumbed soon after. “Inderjit was a small farmer. His financial condition was not good. He had heavy debt to pay. His financial condition made him commit suicide. He left no suicide note,” said Behrampur SHO Mukhtiar Singh.
Inderjit is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son. While his eldest daughter, Baljinder Kaur, is pursuing graduation after completing diploma in air hostess training, the second daughter, Ravinder Kaur, had just completed graduation in computer applications. His son studies in Class XI.
“We had no idea about the debt. We never talked about it. We had only one acre of agricultural land. My father used to do contract farming to support family. It is only after his death that we have come to know about the debt that he owned from Central Bank of India. He had also borrowed money from a commission agent. Total amount of debt from all sources is around Rs 6 lakh,” said Baljinder.
Inderjit’s uncle, Gurdial Singh, said, “It is very much possible that he was not aware about the announcement made by Punjab CM on loan waiver on Monday. He was working in the fields through the day on Monday and came back home in evening only after consuming poison. CM has only waived of Rs 2 lakh. He had a debt of around Rs 6 lakh, so this loan waiver by CM would not have helped him much. He never discussed this issue with us. He spent his money on education of his children. It is possible that he spent the borrowed money on education of his children. He had three young children that were yet to get married.”
Gurdial demanded that the state government should now repay his loan, and also give jobs to his children.
Amit Kumar, Deputy Commissioner Gurdaspur said, “I have asked chief agricultural official to submit report about the farmer’s death.”
So far no political leader either from Congress or from SAD has visited the family. They have also not been approached by representatives of any farmers’ union.