Bhopal: Two weeks ago, the newly formed Congress government in Madhya Pradesh had waived off the farm loans of below Rs. 2 lakh of 34 lakh farmers. But it seems ineffective in ending the farmers’ ordeal and stop suicides in the state, as four farmers have died in this period.
A debt-ridden farmer in MP’s Guna district died on Monday, December 31, in the hospital after he had allegedly consumed insecticide, said the police.
The farmer has been identified as Nagji Bheel of Mandikheda village. He had taken a loan of Rs. 40,000 from the creditor who was then demanding a repayment of Rs. 70,000 to give back his mortgaged land, the police said quoting the deceased’s family.
Owing to the stress, he consumed insecticide on Friday, his family told police.
The District Collector (DC) Bhaskar Lashkar has ordered a probe and the administration has provided a sum of Rs. 15,000 as a relief to Bheel’s family, reported PTI quoting officials.
The area comes under the Guna Lok Sabha constituency where Congress’s stalwart leader and former Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia is the Member of Parliament. Reacting to the incident, MP Jyotiraditya Scindia asked the DC to provide necessary support to the farmer’s kin. The Congress leader has also appealed to the farmers to take loans only from authorised banks.
In another incident, a 40-year-old farmer Bherulal Malviya of Mandsaur’s Malhargarh tehsil died due to heart attack when he heard about the crashing price of onions at the Mandsaur Krishak Mandi at Rs. 372 per quintal.
Malviya had gone to sell 27 quintals of onion but due to the price dip, he could only get Rs. 10,440 for his entire crop. Shocked with the meagre amount that he received after selling the products of his hard work for the last few months, he suffered from the heart attack. He was rushed to the nearby hospital but succumbed to the attack. His family has sought help from the state government.
Onion has been a bumper production in Madhya Pradesh’s Malwa region and it is being sold at Rs. 50 to Rs. 800 per quintal in the mandis.
A debt-ridden farmer Narayan Raghuwanshi of Kalapipal village in Shajapur district, who had consumed poison on December 20, also breathed his last on Monday at a private hospital in Bhopal.
The bereaved family said that Raghuvanshi had taken a Rs. 3 lakh loan from a private bank and was under depression over the mounting debts as he had failed to pay even the interest amount.
Depressed with it, he consumed poison on Thursday night (December 27) and died on Friday.
Two days after this heart-wrenching incident, on December 22, 2018, a farmer, Juban Singh, a resident of Astria village of Khandwa district had hanged himself at his farm land.
According to police, he had taken a loan of Rs. 3 lakh from a bank to restore his bore well and had invested huge amount in it. However, he failed and the bore well remained dry causing crop failure due to the lack of water for irrigation.
Depressed with this, the farmer hanged himself at his farmland. The farmer reportedly failed to meet the conditions of the recent farm loan waiver announced by the Chief Minister Kamal Nath.
Besides, on December 31, a video that had gone viral showed a farmer from Shivpuri district in Madhya Pradesh fall on the feet of the newly appointed collector of the area, seeking her intervention in the installation of a new transformer in his village. The incident took place on December 28 at the Shivpuri collector’s office. In the video, Collector Anugrah P can be seen of ignoring the farmer's request.
But when the video went viral and media reported the matter, she assured the farmer that his problems will be addressed and promised an inquiry into the matter. The transformer was installed within two days of the incident at his village, ANI reported.
Hours after taking charge as the chief minister of Madhya Pradesh on December 17, Kamal Nath ordered to waive off short-term loans of farmers who had taken loans from nationalised and cooperative banks before March 31, 2018. The decision was taken keeping the party’s pre-poll promise to waive off farmers’ loans of under Rs 2 lakh within 10 days of formation of government.
With these series of incidents coming up, Congress has appealed to the farmers to raise their issues before the government and not to resort to such extreme steps.
“It is very sad that farmers are committing suicide but it is happening because of the bad polices of previous BJP government. The current government is trying its best to save farmers’ lives. If the farmers are having any problem with loan or debts, they can raise the issue in front of the government, instead of taking the extreme stop,” said Congress state media in charge Shobha Oza.