Debt burden ‘claims’ life of farmer in Odisha

Samarendra Kundu was reportedly under mental duress after his crop was damaged in untimely rain

Published: 29th December 2021 11:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th December 2021 11:23 AM   |  A+A-

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By Express News Service

BALASORE: A 52-year-old farmer of Bhograi block who had consumed pesticide allegedly over crop loss and debt burden last week, died at SCB Medical College and Hospital (MCH) in Cuttack on Tuesday.

Samarendra Kundu, a share-cropper of Khaerda village, allegedly tried to kill himself by consuming pesticide on December 22. His brother-in-law Narendra Senapati said Kundu had cultivated paddy in 20-acre land on a share-cropping basis in the current Kharif season. He had taken a loan of Rs 14 lakh from Punjab National Bank, local cooperative society and some private money lenders. However, untimely rains just before the harvesting phase damaged his paddy crop. 

Kundu had reportedly requested the local revenue inspector to assess the crop damage so that he could get compensation. But since he was a share-cropper, he was not eligible for crop damage assistance.

Senapati said Kundu was under mental duress as private money lenders were mounting pressure to repay. The loan burden took a several mental toll on Kundu and he stopped talking with family members. Early in the morning on December 22, he consumed pesticide kept in his home. He started vomiting after a few hours following which family members rushed him to Jaleswar hospital. As his condition worsened, he was shifted to FM MCH but the doctors referred Kundu to SCB where he died during treatment.

Villagers said the district administration should provide Rs 50 lakh compensation to the deceased farmer’s family. Kundu is survived by his wife Shantilata and two daughters one of whom is married.

Contacted, Bhograi tehsildar Kamalakanta Panda said he has received a complaint in this regard. The local police are investigating to ascertain the exact cause of the farmer’s death.


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