A 50-YEAR-OLD farmer committed suicide at his field in Palghar on Tuesday night with the family claiming that he was depressed as his crop was destroyed by the unseasonal rainfall that had lashed the district during the last fortnight.
The farmer, Dharma Jadhav, a resident of Zirwapada in Dahanu taluka, was rushed to a local hospital but he was declared dead on arrival, the police said. No suicide note was found on the deceased. “Jadhav had gone to check his field on Tuesday. When he didn’t return, his family went looking for him,” said an officer from Kasa police.
“The farmer allegedly consumed pesticides in the field where he collapsed. In their statements, his son Dinesh and his wife Mangli have said that they didn’t know he had carried pesticides to the field. We are tracing where he obtained the pesticides from,” the officer added.
In Palghar, heavy rainfall since July have affected crops and yield. Farmers have sowed again and again, hoping some crops would reach maturity. But much of it, especially the paddy crop, had been affected. During the last fortnight, Palghar again received heavy rainfall.
“The crops were ready for threshing. He had gone hoping the water would have receded enough for us to start work, but knee-deep water remained,” said Dinesh.
Jadhav’s kin will receive a compensation of Rs 4 lakh once the district agriculture department submits its report on the matter, Dahanu Tehsildar Rahul Sarang, who visited the deceased’s family, said.
“If it is found that he died because of the situation of his field, we will help the family out. We are going to conduct a survey and monitor damage caused to the crops in the region,” a senior district official said.
The Kasa police has registered a case of accidental death and are awaiting the postmortem report, Inspector Anand Kale said.
In Dahanu and Vikramgad talukas, villagers have been seeking government intervention to help them in these difficult times. “We don’t produce a huge quantity. We produce for consumption and in good times, for a little sale. But now we don’t have food to eat,” said Rama Jadhav, a resident of the same village. He added, “The cyclones are bringing unseasonal rainfall and driving our fish away. We have no water in summer and now, once water has come, we have no food. The government will have to help us.”
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