UP: Upset Over Damage to Crop by Stray Cattle and Debt, Farmer Dies by Suicide in Banda
Image for representational purpose.
Lucknow: Dejected over the extensive loss of crops by stray cattle, a 26-year-old farmer allegedly killed himself in the cattle yard, a few metres away from his house in the Jaspura area in UP's Banda on Thursday evening.
The deceased, Kuldeep Singh, had sown paddy in nearly three bighas of land and was expecting a good yield. However, due to less rainfall, he had to spend extra on irrigation. On Thursday, he found that his field was fully damaged by stray cattle. His uncle Rajendra Singh said he was already in some debt.
The uncle of the deceased informed NewsClick that Kuldeep was found hanging by his relatives when they went towards the cattle yard. Kuldeep’s uncle Rajendra Singh said that his father Surendra Singh had also met the same fate about three years ago.
"Kuldeep had borrowed Rs 2.50 lakh from the Central Bank and was upset after his wheat crop was damaged by stray cattle. Recently, the bank served him notice to repay the loan amount with interest. Besides, he had also taken loans from some local money lenders due to which his house was also mortgaged. Left with no other option, he decided to end his life," Rajendra told NewsClick.
Kuldeep’s father had nine bighas of land and the trio of brothers got three bighas each. Kuldeep’s father had secured a loan from a bank in Palani town about three years ago and he had poisoned himself to death the same year, said the uncle.
"On Thursday evening, he came home depressed from his field as all his standing crop was destroyed by the stray cattle. He was already in debt and the bank was continuously sending notices to recover the amount. He was the eldest among three brothers and a sister and the sole breadwinner of the family," Singh added.
A case has been registered by the police following the incident. “The family members told us that he died by suicide due to the crop damaged by stray cattle and continuous pressure by the bank for the loan," said Lal Chand Yadav, SDM, Mainai, speaking to NewsClick.
The SDM admitted that the matter relates to poverty and debt. He said that it is also true that the crop of the deceased was high and quality yield. The income could have been better, due to which some debt could also have been reduced.
"After getting the inquiry done from the district administration, appropriate compensation will be provided," the SDM said.
This is not an isolated case of farmer suicide in the Bundelkhand region, which is the most deprived and economically backward region in the state and is known for peasant suicides because of loans and economic distress.
Such stories of rural distress are strewn across central India’s Bundelkhand region, where peasants are fighting with their backs to the wall after drought, hailstorm, an unusually warm winter and now the stray cattle menace
The stray cattle menace is proving to be a great nuisance as the cold wave grips North India; farmers are left with no option but to spend nights in their fields under the open skies.
Meanwhile, farmers affiliated with Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU) launched an indefinite strike led by BKU chief Rakesh Tikait last month in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar district. Their demands include a permanent solution for the stray cattle menace, a legal guarantee of the minimum support price (MSP), payment of sugarcane dues, and a curb on forceful land acquisition.
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