New Delhi: The Opposition has accused the BJP-led central government of “hiding” a vital indicator on farmers’ distress in the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data. It has alleged that the omission of data on suicides in 2016 is an attempt to evade public scrutiny ahead of Gujarat Assembly elections and the Winter Session of Parliament.
“BJP-ruled states have done nothing to address farmer distress which primarily includes farm debt and distress sale of crops well below the minimum support price and the cost of production.
Additionally, Gujarat has no scheme for helping families of farmers who killed themselves,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told News18.
The NCRB report for 2016 was released last week, after a delay of almost four months. Conspicuously missing in this year’s data were figures for suicides in the country.
Concerns on the omission have also been raised by CPM leader Brinda Karat who felt that the Bureau owes an explanation on the issue. “It is for the NCRB to clarify whether there is anything political about it,” she said.
Refuting the allegations, the BJP sought to turn the tables on the Congress.
“From 2014 to 2015, farmer suicides in Karnataka, which is ruled by the Congress, have seen a tremendous increase from 321 to 1,197. They have paid no heed to their own crisis. They must explain their previous record,” said BJP leader GVL Narasimha Rao.
The NCRB has attributed the “procedural delay” in releasing suicide figures to “some issues regarding recording suicides by few states”.
Responding to a query by News18, NCRB said: “The Accidental Deaths & Suicides in India-2016 will be published in the third or last week of December.”
2015 Report: Which State Recorded The Most Number Of Suicides?
In 2015, the maximum number of suicides were reported in Maharashtra (16,970) followed by Tamil Nadu (15,777) and West Bengal (14,602), accounting for 12.7%, 11.8% and 10.9% of total suicides reported in the country, respectively.
Maharashtra reported the highest number of suicidal deaths in 2013, 2014 and 2015, followed by Tamil Nadu in the last three years.
Delhi has reported the highest number of suicides (1,845) among Union Territories, followed by Puducherry (711).
Seven UTs together accounted for 2.2% of total suicides in the country. A total of 19,665 suicides were reported in the 53 mega cities of the country during the 2015.
According to the data released for 2015, the states and UTs which have reported significant percentage increase in suicides in 2015 over 2014 were Uttarakhand (129.5%), Meghalaya (73.7%), Lakshadweep (66.7%), Nagaland (61.5%) and Jammu & Kashmir (44.2%) while highest percentage decrease was reported in Jharkhand (35.8%), Bihar (28.2%), Manipur (26.0), Rajasthan (22.5%) and Himachal Pradesh (15.7%).