BHOPAL: With two more farmers allegedly taking their own lives in Hoshangabad and Shivpuri districts in the last 24 hours, the number of suicides in Madhya Pradesh rose to seven in the last 72 hours.
A 50-year-old farmer Narmada Prasad Yadav is said to have consumed poison in Chaplasar village of Hoshangabad district Thursday. His family alleged he was being harried by a moneylender for the Rs 50,000 he had borrowed a year ago. Yadav did pay up Rs 20,000 but the moneylender had impounded the farmer's tractor anyway.
Sub-divisional police officer S N Chouhdhary said a case has been registered under Section 174 of the CrPc and the police would record the statements of the farmer's family.
In another incident, a 55-year-old farmer Kalla Kewat allegedly hanged himself from a tree in Bineka village in Indar area of Shivpuri district. His kin alleged that Kalla had borrowed Rs 80,000 from some villagers, but his three crops had failed, leaving him broke.
According to the Indar police station in-charge Suresh Babu Sharma, this matter too has been lodged under Section 174 of CrPC and an investigation is underway.
Leveraging the spike in suicides, alleged or real, Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia stepped up pressure on chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan to immediately announce a waiver of farmers' loans.
“The chief ministers of UP and Maharashtra don’t call themselves farmers’ sons, but they have given loan waivers to farmers. What’s stopping the Madhya Pradesh CM," asked Scindia.
Presently spearheading a 72-hour satyagraha in Bhopal over the farmers' distress, Scindia asked how many more suicides would have to occur before the CM announces a loan waiver.
Scindia said, “There will be several issues in the 2018 Assembly polls in MP and farm loan waiver will be just one of them. It was the UPA government at the Centre which waived farmers loans worth Rs 72,000 crore in 2008-09. You can at least expect the same from the Congress in the state as well.”