ONGOLE: Tension prevailed for some time at Tobacco Board’s RM Office here on Friday when farmers in large numbers staged a protest with the body of B Krishna Rao, a 40-year-old tobacco farmer, who committed suicide for allegedly under pressure for repayment of loans.
Krishna Rao along with his brother owned 3.5 acres of land in his native Ponduru village of Tangutur mandal in the district. He constructed two barns and took one more barn along with 18 acres on lease last year. With demand for tobacco from the companies falling this year, he suffered losses. The cotton crop cultivated in 2.5 acres also failed with low yield.
According to sources, he had taken over `10 lakh loans from different people and with mounting pressure for repayment, he resorted to the extreme step. On Friday at around 5 am, he went to bathroom after promising his wife that he will take her to the temple. However, when he did not come out even after half an hour and not responding to her calls, his wife knocked on the door only to find it ajar and her husband in an unconscious state with a pesticide bottle in his hands.
He was rushed to a local doctor, who pronounced him brought dead and later he was shifted to Ongole RIMS.
On the way, other farmers took over the body and staged the protest. They accused the Tobacco Board of colluding with tobacco companies at the cost of tobacco farmers’ interests. The Tangutur police registered a case.