UP Farmer Commits Suicide After ‘Humiliation’ by Loan Recovery Team
Farmers and family members of deceased farmer Revati Singh protest at the cooperative society in Hasanpur Jat village, in UP’s Bijnor district, on Friday.
Lucknow: A 43-year-old debt-ridden farmer committed suicide in Uttar Pradesh’s (UP) Bijnor district on Friday after being allegedly humiliated by the loan recovery team of the village cooperative society.
A resident of Hasanpur Jat village, under Haldaur Police Station, Revati Singh had taken a loan of about Rs 1 lakh from the cooperative society in 2016. He had been paying the instalments on time except in the last couple of months due to financial crises, one of his relatives said.
According to his neighbours, Singh felt insulted after the recovery team allegedly created a scene in front of his relatives at his house while he was busy preparing for his niece’s wedding ceremony. The officials left after he assured them of repaying the instalments by night.
Later, a humiliated Singh consumed poison at night, according to one relative. He is survived by two children and a wife.
The police, which have not registered a case against the recovery team, said that he committed suicide out of frustration at being unable to pay the instalments in the last few months.
Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) and BKU (Lok Shakti) members along with scores of supporters and family members of the deceased reached the cooperative society office with Singh’s body demanding compensation and action against officials for humiliating him in front of his relative.
“Farmers have no alternative source of income. If their crops fail, they fall into a debt trap and seldom emerge out of it. With the government insensitive to their plight, they see no ray of hope. Nevertheless, it is odd that Revati chose to commit suicide on the day of his niece’s wedding,” a BKU leader requesting anonymity told Newsclick adding that every farmer “faces” the same situation. “The situation will worsen day by day as the government is in deep slumber.”
In another case of loan recovery harassment, a small-scale farmer committed suicide in the Lalitpur district the same day.
The police told Newsclick that Khemchandra, a native of Deori village, under Narhat Police Station, could not take the pressure from moneylenders and committed suicide.
Khemchandra’s family took his body to the police station and refused to perform the last rites unless a complaint was registered.
Khemchandra’s family said that he had taken a loan of Rs 5,00,000 from two moneylenders and had already repaid the whole amount. The moneylender, however, had been pressuring him to pay more money, they alleged.
In a letter purportedly written by Khemchandra and found at his house, he mentioned being “continuously threatened by moneylenders Deepak Sahu and Shivshankar Mishra”. The two men had threatened to eliminate him if he didn’t repay the loan, he alleged in the letter. Khemchandra further wrote that he would be forced to leave the village and shut down his business because of the “constant intimidation”.
Khemchandra’s brother alleged that he had been tense as the moneylenders would “call several times a week to extort money”. Based on a complaint by his brother, the police said an FIR was registered against the moneylenders and an investigation started.
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