Distressed over their debts, three more peasants allegedly ended their lives in Madhya Pradesh in the last 24 hours, taking the number of farmers’ suicide in the state to 20 since June 8. While two suicides were reported from Sagar and Chhatarpur districts of backward Bundelkhand region, another one was reported from Budni, the assembly segment represented by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
In Sagar, 50-year-old Gulai Kurmi was found hanging from the branch of a tree in his agricultural field in Basahari village under Bina tehsil of the district yesterday afternoon, the police said. Kurmi has left behind a suicide note, in which he said he was being harassed by a moneylender over the loan of Rs one lakh he had taken from him. In the suicide note, Kurmi claimed he had actually paid Rs 2.5 lakh in exchange of loan of Rs one lakh, but the moneylender – named as Shankar Maharaj – continued to harass him.
Sagar Superintendent of Police (SP) Sachin Atulkar told PTI, “The police is recording the statements of Kurmi’s family members on the basis of the suicide note found with the deceased. Further action would be taken on the basis of investigation.” In Chhatarpur, a 75-year old farmer identified as Mahesh Tiwari, ended his life by hanging himself from the ceiling at his residence located on a hillock near local Sandhya Bihar colony, police said.
Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Chhatarpur DP Dwivedi said Tiwari did not own any farmland. Tiwari’s son Buddh Prakash said his father was a contract farmer, cultivating farming fields at village Chithari on rent and owed a debt of Rs 90,000. Tiwari was also working as labourer.
In Guradiya village of Budni assembly constituency in Sehore district, farmer Shatrughan Meena killed himself by consuming poisonous substance. Meena consumed poison this morning and taken to a private hospital in Hoshangabad, where he was declared dead. Meena’s family members said he owed a loan and was distressed over the problems in repaying it.
Budni Police Station in-charge R N Sharma, however, said the reason behind his suicide is not clear so far. “The reason behind the suicide would be known after the investigation. Further inquiry is underway,” he added. Madhya Pradesh recently witnessed farmers’ stir over loan waiver, farm produce prices and other demands. The death of five persons in police firing in Mandsaur district on June 6 during the unrest triggered a series of protests in various parts of the state. Since June 8, farmers have ended their lives in Sehore, Hoshangabad, Raisen, Dhar Neemuch and Vidisha districts. In Sehore alone, the home district of the chief minister, six suicides have been reported so far.