The Maharashtra government has directed all police stations in the state to complete inquiries into farmers’ suicides within a month from occurrence of such an incident.
In circular dated September 16, the state Home department stated that police inspector (PI)-level officers should probe the cases of such suicides within a month.
“The viscera report (of the farmer who kills himself) should be submitted within a month to ensure that the close relatives of the farmer can avail financial assistance from the state government,” it stated.
Vasantrao Naik Shetakari Swawlamban Mission president Kishor Tiwari said that in the past the reports on farmers’ suicides were not used to be in order in many instances.
“Before this circular was issued, any head constable had the power to inquire and submit a report to the police station. In several cases, I found that his report was based on the information gathered from talathis (a village revenue official) which were based on half-truth.
“The instances of suicides (by farmers) were recorded as ‘not for farm loan reason’, and they (farmes’ kin) were denied financial assistance,” said Tiwari. Family members of farmers who kill themselves receive Rs one lakh as the ex-gratia from the state government.