Four chilli farmers attempt suicide in Karnataka's Ballari district

They were admitted to Vijayanagara Institute of Medical Science, where their condition is stable.
Image used for representative purposes only
Image used for representative purposes onlyFile photo | Express

BALLARI: Four chilli farmers attempted suicide at Somasamudra village in Kurugodu taluk of Ballari district on Sunday after a private company which had purchased their produce has not cleared their payments for the last one-and-a-half years.

The four -- Rudresh (55), Hanumanth (40), Shekar (45) and Kunesh (50) -- consumed poison, while protesting along with other farmers against delayed payments.

They were admitted to Vijayanagara Institute of Medical Science, where their condition is stable.

Farmers said Bengaluru-based Agrigreed Pvt Ltd had bought chillies worth Rs 1.9 crore from 100 farmers. 

The bills of 54 farmers had been cleared, but the remaining 46 were yet to receive the money.

Hanumantappa Vaddar, one of the farmers whose bill is pending, said, “The company has some well-known persons from the district as shareholders. Trusting them, we sold 220 tonnes of chilli to the company. Normally, we sell it at the Byadgi market and it was the first time that we had given it to a private company.

Also, they offered a good price. Two months ago, we contacted the middleman who introduced us to the company. He gave us cheques, but they were not honoured because of lack of balance in their account. We request the Ballari deputy commissioner, chief executive officer and superintendent of police to solve the issue as soon as possible.”

Kurugodu taluk is top in chilli production in Kalyana-Karnataka.

(If you are having suicidal thoughts, or are worried about a friend or need emotional support, someone is always there to listen. Call Sneha Foundation - 04424640050, Tele Manas - 14416 (available 24x7) or iCall, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences' helpline - 02225521111, which is available Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 10 pm.)

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