BENGALURU: The number of suicides among the farming community in the state doubled in 2015 as compared to 2014, according to the Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India 2015 report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).
The recently released report showed that several factors such as bankruptcy, crop failure and illness were among the major reasons for the suicides. Karnataka also recorded the second highest number of farmer suicides in the country in 2015 after Maharashtra.
While 4,291 farmers and agricultural labourers committed suicide in Maharashtra in 2015, the number was 1,569 in Karnataka. However, the percentage increase was more pronounced in Karnataka. While the increase was only a marginal 7.2 per cent in Maharashtra - 4,004 in 2014 and 4,291 in 2015; Karnataka registered an increase of 104.3 per cent — that is, 1,569 suicides in 2015 as compared to 768 in 2014.
Data also shows that the number of farmers who committed suicide increased almost fourfold, while the suicides of agricultural labourers saw a decline. Farmer suicides rose from 321 in 2014 to 1,197 in 2015. This increase is only slightly behind Assam, which is third on the list, where farmer suicides increased by 400 per cent - from 21 in 2014 to 84 in 2015.
In terms of agricultural labourers, 447 committed suicide in Karnataka in 2014, while 372 killed themselves in 2015.Karnataka recorded the highest numbers in South India. The lowest number of suicides among the South Indian states was recorded in Kerala - which saw the numbers fall from 807 to 210, between 2014 and 2015.
Farmers in Karnataka, it can be recalled, have been hit by consecutive droughts. The saga of farmer suicides continued even in 2016, with 457 farmers ending their lives between April 1 and November 10.