BHOPAL: Two more farmers allegedly committed suicide in Madhya Pradesh in the last 24 hours due to distress over debts, taking the number of such deaths in the state to 17 since June 8, police said today.
The latest suicides were reported in Narsinghpur and Hoshangabad districts.
In Hoshangabad, 40-year-old Babulal Verma, who had set himself on fire on Friday, succumbed to his injuries this morning, police said, adding the incident had taken place at Randhal village in Hoshangabad district.
Verma was admitted to Bhopal's Hamidia Hospital, where he succumbed to burn injures late last night, Dehat (rural) police station officials said.
Verma's family alleged that the farmer took the extreme step as the private moneylenders were harassing him for the repayment of dues.
In Dhamna village of Narsinghpur district, 65-year-old farmer Laxmi Gumasta allegedly committed suicide by consuming some poisonous substance at his home this morning, the police said.
According to Gumasta's family members, he took the extreme step as he was unable to repay the loan worth Rs four lakh. Besides, he had lost his crop, which was destroyed in a fire about two months back and he failed to get any relief as compensation.
Narsinghpur Sub-Divisional Officer Police (SDOP) Naresh Sharma said a case has been registered and further investigation was underway.
Gumasta's family members, along with local Congress leaders, today sat on a sit-in protest, laying the deceased's body on the road in Dhamna, demanding compensation. However, they ended the stir after district collector R R Bhonsle gave them assurance regarding the compensation.
Madhya Pradesh recently witnessed farmers' stir over loan waiver, farm produce prices and other demands. The death of five persons in police firing in Mandsaur district on June 6 during the unrest triggered a series of protests in various parts of the state.
So far, farmers have ended their lives in Sehore, Hoshangabad, Raisen, Dhar Neemuch and Vidisha districts. In Sehore alone, the home district of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, five suicides were reported.