Crop loss drives 2 more farmers to end life in western Odisha

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Sambalpur, Oct 10:

Two more incidents of farmer suicides have been reported from the western parts of the state. While a sharecropper committed suicide at Jharajhari village under Jujumura police limits in the district due to crop loss, another farmer of Patnagarh sub-division in Bolangir district ended life due to loan burden.

Sambalpur Farmer Suicide

Following the two incidents in a day, the state government today sough reports from the respective district collectors.

In Jharajhari, farmer Sanatan Mirdha allegedly committed suicide due to crop loss. Mirdha, around 40-year-old, had availed loans for agricultural purposes and was under duress for some time over debt burden, sources said.

Mirdha had suffered extensive damage to the crop he had grown due deficit rainfall this monsoon. Unable to cope up with the mounting stress of repayment of the debt, the ryot took the extreme step, the sources added.

The farmer ended his life by hanging himself from a tree. A case of unnatural death has been registered with the local police and the body was sent for post-mortem. The exact amount of loan he had taken from financial institutions and money lenders has not been ascertained yet.

Meanwhile, Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy has expressed his grief over the incident and has sought reports from the concerned district collectors. “It is an unfortunate incident. I am pained. Necessary steps would be taken after gathering facts. I would meet the bereaved family members, if the need be. Besides, I have asked the district collectors of Bolangir and Sambalpur to probe the circumstances under which the farmers committed suicide,” he said in Bhubaneswar.

In the second case, farmer Bhakta Dharua committed suicide due to debt burden. He allegedly kileed self as he was unable to repay loans availed to buy water pump to irrigate his field.

As per family sources, Dharua had availed a loan of Rs 17,000 at an annual interest of 11% to buy the equipment for irrigation purpose. He was served notice by the lending bank when defaulted on repayment. Following this, he was under stress and committed suicide.

Notably, a farmer in Bargarh had also allegedly committed suicide yesterday due to crop loss and loan burden. The farmer, Hiralal Sahu from Dhinkimunda village in Paikmal block in the district, ended his life by consuming pesticide.

As per reports, the 50-year-old farmer owned around 20 acre of land and had cultivated paddy in the field. However, the crop was damaged due to insufficient rainfall and pest attack. When his repeated attempts to revive the crop failed, he resorted to the extreme step.

Sahu consumed pesticide in the field and vomited continuously on returning home. His family members rushed him to Paikmal primary health centre (PHC) for treatment where his abdomen was washed. However, he died a few hours later.

Notably, a three-member Central team had visited Bargarh district on Wednesday to assess the drought condition and crop damage due to deficient rainfall this monsoon. They are yet to submit their report to the government.

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