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2 More Debt-ridden Farmers Commit Suicide in MP, Toll Reaches 14

Vivek Trivedi | News18.com

Updated: June 19, 2017, 3:46 PM IST
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2 More Debt-ridden Farmers Commit Suicide in MP, Toll Reaches 14
Image for representative purposes.
Bhopal: The count of debt-ridden farmers ending their lives in Madhya Pradesh reached 14 on Monday with two more committing suicide in Sehore and Vidisha districts. Another farmer who consumed poison was battling for his life in a hospital in Harda district.

The suicides comes amid a raging protest by farmers in the state for higher minimum support price and farm loan waivers. Their agitation triggered similar protests in other agrarian states when six farmers died due to police firing in Mandsaur district earlier this month.

State agriculture minister Gaurishankar Bisen has repeatedly said that farm loans won’t be waived off. There was no word from Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan either when he ended his one-day ‘peace fast’ days after the violence.

Madhya Pradesh, primarily an agrarian state, has been making rapid strides in the field of agriculture in the last two decades, but due to lack of required price support mechanism, more and more farmers have been taking the extreme step. According to data compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), as many as 18, 687 farmers ended their lives in Madhya Pradesh between 2001 and 2015.

More than 3,400 suicides were reported in the state between July 1, 2016 and November 15, 2016. This number includes 531 farmers and farm labourers and 281 students, the government said in the recent winter session of the assembly.

“There is utter shamelessness in the government,’ said Ajay Khare, member of Samajwadi Jan Parishad in Rewa. He said the state government “splurges” on popularising handwashing initiative and Krishi Karman awards, but nothing is being done to stop farmer suicides.

Social activist Rakesh Diwan from volunteer group Vikas Samvad believes that even if farm loans are waived off, given the unfriendly agrarian policies and changed agri-methods, there is no guarantee that farmers won’t get stuck in the loan web again.
First Published: June 19, 2017, 3:46 PM IST
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