As per the latest official data, 14 states and union territories reported no case of farmer's suicide in 2016.
Farmer’s Suicides: The western state of Maharashtra recorded the maximum number of farmers’ suicides for two years in a row for which the latest data is available with the National Crime Record Bureau. More than 3,000 cases of suicides by farmers were reported in Maharashtra in 2015, which declined to over 2,500 in 2016, the latest year for which data is available with the NCRB, said G Kishen Reddy, minister of state for home affairs.
In 2015, NCRB’s report on Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India reported 8,007 cases of suicides by farmers, cultivators, and farm labourers in the country that came down to 6,270 people in 2016.
In response to a question by Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha as to why the NCRB is not publishing such data after 2015, minister of state for home affairs, G. Kishan Reddy told the house that the NCRB has issued advisories to states to provide the latest information so that the latest report on accidental deaths and suicides in India can be published.
Karnataka remained the worst affected state after Maharashtra in case of suicides by farmers, cultivators and agricultural labourers. What is more worrying that although the national figure of farmer’s suicides declined in 2016 in comparison with the previous year, the figure for Karnataka has gone up marginally during the same period. According to the latest NCRB data, 1,197 farmers, cultivators and agricultural labourers committed suicide in Karnataka in 2015 and the figure registered a marginal increase to 1,212 the next year.
Though in 2015, Telangana had a worse record than Karnataka but it improved its record substantially next year. In 2015, Telangana reported 1,358 suicides of farmers, cultivators and agricultural labourers but the figure more than halved the next year to just 632 suicides.
In terms of farmer’s suicides, Telangana is followed by Madhya Pradesh, which reported 599 suicides of farmers in 2016, a marginal increase over the figure of 518 suicides reported in 2015.
Madhya Pradesh is followed by Chhattisgarh which reported 854 suicides in 2015, but the number declined to just 585 next year bringing it below Madhya Pradesh in terms of suicides of farmers.
These two central states have been followed by Andhra Pradesh which reported 516 and 239 suicides in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
Surprisingly, India’s most populous state-reported far less suicides of farmers during these two years for which NCRB has the data.
145 cases of suicides were reported from Uttar Pradesh in 2015 which further declined to 69 cases in 2016.
Suicide cases doubled in Punjab
Punjab recorded 100 cases of suicides by farmers, cultivators and farm labourers in 2015 which more than doubled the next year.
In 2016, Punjab reported 232 cases in the same category.
However, another predominantly agrarian state Haryana fares far better in terms of controlling the suicides of farmers.
In 2015, 28 cases of farmers suicides were reported in the state but the next year no suicide case was reported in the category.
Several states report no case of farmer’s suicide
In 2015, no case of suicide by farmers, cultivators or farm labourers was reported from Bihar, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir Jharkhand, Mizoram, Nagaland and UTs of Chandigarh, Andaman & Nicobar, Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Puducherry, Lakshadweep.
Similarly, there were 14 states and union territories that reported no case of farmer’s suicides in 2016, including, West Bengal, Bihar, Goa and Delhi.