A farmer couple from Olpad taluka in Surat district died after reportedly consuming poison near Surat airport on Tuesday evening. His family said that they had lost their paddy and banana crops due to the ongoing water crisis in the state.
According to the police, Jayesh Patel (45) and his wife Rita (43) had left their home at Kapasi village in Olpad taluka in the morning. By afternoon, they were found lying unconscious on a roadside near Surat airport by a passerby.
After being informed by the passerby, police reached the spot and sent the bodies to the new civil hospital for post-mortem. The couple have two children — a son studying SSC and daughter who recently gave her Class XII board exams.
Jayesh’s father Manilal Patel said he was shocked by the incident. “The crops in Jayesh’s field were standing dry this year. The irrigation water reaches the agricultural fields through a canal network, but this time no water was discharged from Ukai dam, so the farmers were stressed. My son was also stressed as he was farming 20 bighas of land. This might be the reason behind his extreme step. The couple were happy.”
Police, however, said it was not clear why the farmer couple took the extreme step.
“The reason behind the suicide is not yet known, but we are probing the case to find out the exact cause. The family members were in deep pain. We will talk to them in the next couple of days,” Assistant Sub-Inspector of Dumas police station Arvind Patel said.