NEW DELHI: Concerned over large number of farmer suicides in Maharashtra, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) taking suo moto cognizance has issued notice to the Union Agriculture ministry and the state chief secretary over the matter on Monday.
The human rights body has put 639 as the number of suicides committed between March and May, 2018 as stated by the government in the state assembly.
"Committing suicide by the farmers in such a large number is a serious matter as it involves the right to life of the victims. Their families also come under tremendous pressure due to sudden demise of an earning member" said the NHRC in its notice to the government.
Time of four weeks has been given to reply on the notice to the authorities, a detailed report in the matter, specifically mentioning the status of implementation of the schemes for the farmers and relief to the aggrieved families has been demanded by the NHRC.
The major reasons behind such steps were crop failure, debt and inability to repay bank loans. The commission has taken media reports into account before issuing notices.
"It has further observed that in spite of announcement of several schemes including crop insurance and loan waiver by the Central and State Governments, the forlorn story of poor farmers generally remains the same. The farmers are still choosing to end their lives, understandably, if not being able to cope up with the stress, financial crunch and social stigma due to crop failure. There is a need for the Central and State Governments to see that the schemes announced by them are implemented in true spirit, to achieve the target so that such tragic deaths of the farmers could be averted" the notice said further.
Earlier this year in May the union government made amendments in the rules for declaration of drought-hit areas, based on the suggestions made by the states and accordingly the state revenue and forest departments have made the changes in June.