Another farmer commits suicide in Jharkhand due to financial stress; fifth death in just over a month

Sanjay Munda left no suicide note but his grieving family members said he took the extreme step after he could not cope with the stress of procuring funds to carry on paddy cultivation.

Published: 19th July 2017 09:11 PM  |   Last Updated: 19th July 2017 09:11 PM   |  A+A-

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Image used for representational purpose.

By Express News Service

PATNA: A farmer in Jharkhand’s Ranchi district killed himself on Wednesday by hanging from the ceiling of his mud house because of alleged financial stress. This is the fifth farmer suicide in the state in just over a month’s time.

Sanjay Munda, 25, left no suicide note, but his grieving family members said he took the extreme step after he could not cope with the stress of procuring funds to carry on paddy cultivation after incurring huge losses while growing vegetables.

His body was recovered from his house in Betlangi village under Chanho block, 40 km off state capital Ranchi, and was sent for post mortem. Chanho circle officer Pravin Kumar Singh said the death is being investigated by police and that the victim’s family was handed Rs 3,000 in cash by the BDO as per the norms of a family benefit scheme.

“He was the sole earning member of our family. He was very worried for the past one month as he did not have money needed to carry on paddy cultivation on our 2.5 acres of land. He was also worried for having no money to pay for the education of his sisters,” said Chandu Munda, the victim’s differently-abled father.

Sanjay, the only son of his parents, had been funding the education of his three teenage sisters from his meager income from agriculture and odd jobs. The eldest among the sisters, Ritu, is a first year BA student at a local college. Their mother, Phool Kumari, expired two years ago.

“He grew tomatoes, cabbage and other vegetables this year, but was distressed as he did not get proper price for the produce. We see no hope for our lives without him around,” said Ritu.

Opposition Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) (JVM-P) leader and former CM Babulal Marandi visited the grieving family and urged the Raghubar Das-led government to take steps to prevent more farmer suicides. Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) general secretary Vinod Pandey demanded that the government should ensure free education for the victim’s three sisters.

“It is still under investigation whether this death is a suicide or murder,” said Deepak Prakash, general secretary of Jharkhand’s ruling BJP.

On June 26, debt-ridden farmer Domna Oraon, of Lohardaga district, committed suicide by consuming pesticide. Baldeo Mahto, a farmer from Pithoria block in Ranchi district, killed himself by jumping into a well on June 15. Kaleshwar Mahto, another debt-ridden farmer from the same block, hanged himself from a tree on June 10. Rajdip Nayak, a farmer from Ormanjhi block, killed himself by consuming pesticides on July 2 allegedly due to harassment by bank officials for repaying loans.

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