Bhubaneswar: At least four more farmers allegedly committed suicide within last 24 hours, three of them from coastal districts while another belonged to western Odisha district of Nuapada, a district official said.
The S C B Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack today recorded three farmer deaths taking the toll in the hospital to five during the past four days, the official said.
“Since all these farmers had consumed organo-phosphorous poisons (pesticides) on empty stomach, it was difficult to save them despite all efforts,” said an attending doctor adding that most of them were admitted here in very critical condition.
The condition of one Sanjay Pradhan brought here from Athgarh this afternoon after allegedly consuming pesticide is stated to be very critical, the doctor said.
The farmers who died while undergoing treatment during the past 24 hours are one each from coastal Cuttack, Jagatsinghpur and Kendrapara districts.
Two farmers had died on Monday in Cuttack hospital in similar situation.
Rabindra Muduli of Balikuda in Jagatsinghpur died early morning while Rabindra Mahali of Mahakalpada in Kendrapara district and Bhagban Sahu of Choudwar in Cuttack district died in the afternoon, hospital sources said.
When contacted, Kendrapara district Collector Debraj Senapati said, “the district administration has extended Rs 10,000 as ex gratia aid towards the bereaved family. The local tehsildar has been asked to ascertain veracity in the allegations that the farmer ended his life over crop failure and debt burden ground”.
For farming, Rabinda Mahali had borrowed Rs 40,000 from a local self-help group at exorbitant rate of interest. Crop failure had dealt a blow for loan repayment. He was under considerable mental stress, according to his family members. Meanwhile, a report from Nuapada district said that one Laxman Goud from Komna block allegedly committed suicide on the day the state Agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy visited the place to assess the crop loss in the district due to drought. “Our field level officials are verifying the cause of Goud’s death,” said Komna Tahasildar Abani Kumar Sahu.
Earlier, the state government had said that it had received death news of 48 farmers from across Odisha allegedly due to crop loss and debt burden.