BHOPAL: A 60-year-old debt-ridden farmer who had allegedly consumed poison in Shajapur district of Madhya Pradesh on Thursday, died at a private hospital here on Monday. The family of Prem Narayan Raghuvanshi of Sukhliya village claimed that he killed himself because of the pressure of repaying loans totalling around 5 lakh, though the district police said the primary probe hadn’t revealed any pressure of outstanding loans having triggered the suicide.
This is the second case of suicide by a debt-ridden farmer after new chief minister Kamal Nath announced waiver of short-term agricultural loans of up to 2 lakh on December 17. On Saturday, a 45-year-old farmer, Juban Singh, who had an outstanding loan burden of 3 lakh, had committed suicide in Khandwa district.
Both Singh and Raghuvanshi didn’t come under the category of farmers whose loans (taken from nationalised and cooperative banks) have been waived. Only farmers with outstanding loans of up to 2 lakh as on March 31 will benefit from the government’s announcement.
Raghuvanshi’s nephew Jagdish said, “My uncle had taken 3 lakh Kisan Credit Card loan from a bank in Sehore, and 1.5 lakh-2 lakh was borrowed from someone. The bank staff was repeatedly calling and also visiting his home to put pressure on him to repay the loan as my uncle had not been able to pay the last two installments and the interest on outstanding loan. Also, he had to pay 40,000 to the other lender on Friday, but he had no money.”
The in-charge of Kalapipal police station in Shajapur, Dinesh Prajapati, confirmed that Raghuvanshi had consumed poison. “The reasons behind the extreme step are yet to be ascertained, but preliminary probe doesn’t indicate that the elderly farmer committed suicide due to outstanding loans,” said Prajapati.
MP CM Kamal Nath had announced that short-term farm loans up to 2 lakh taken from nationalised and cooperative banks till March 31, 2018 would be waived
Around 34 lakh farmers are likely to benefit