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Debt-ridden farmer in Aurangabad commits suicide


Aurangabad, Dec. 10 : Another distressed farmer committed suicide in the Marathwada region of Aurangabad District in Maharashtra on Wednesday.

The 38-year old farmer, identified as Bandu Sahebrao Burkul, committed suicide by hanging himself from a tree in his fields.

Burkul had been depressed after a prolonged drought in the region had ruined his crops. Burkul had taken a loan of rupees 2,75,000 from a private financing company of which he was still to repay rupees 45,488.

Burkul was rushed to the hospital by his son where the doctors declared him brought dead.

A villager, Shaikh Babulal, said it was high time the government paid heed to the plight of the farmers in the country.

“He had a loan due to which he committed suicide. Despite our repeated calls for help, the government does not understand our problem. Farmer suicides are on the rise while the government is doing what it has to,” said Babulal.

Reports of farmer suicides are rising, especially from the drought-hit Maharashtrian district of Marathwada, where 1,024 farmers have killed themselves so far this year, according to local media reports. Rains in Marathwada were less than half normal levels this year.

With India suffering back-to-back drought years for the fourth time in over a century, summer crops wilted and reservoir water levels have been at their lowest in at least a decade in September, which was supposed to be a monsoon month.

President of a local farmers’ association, Jayajirao Suryawanshi, lashed out at the incumbent and previous federal governments for doing little for the welfare of farmers.

“Because Congress has been demanding a loan waiver for farmers so the government thinks that if it concedes to this demand then the credit will go to Congress. In this fight the farmers are dying while the political parties are politicising the issue. This politicisation must stop,” said Suryawanshi.

Suryawanshi alleged that the maximum farmer suicides in the region had taken place since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government came to power.

Modi’s popularity in rural India took a hit earlier this year courtesy farmer discontent fuelled by unseasonal storms badly damaging the winter crop in large parts of the fertile northern plains.

After drenching India with above-average rains in June, the monsoon weakened in what is typically the wettest and most crucial time for millions of farmers growing oilseeds, rice, cotton and pulses.

This prompted scores of hapless farmers with hefty loans to commit suicide. Farmers also blamed Modi for not stepping in to help the distressed farmers or ensuring that crop prices remained stable.

According to India Meteorological Department (IMD) the overall monsoon deficit from June 01 to September 02 has been 12-14 percent. (ANI)

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