HYDERABAD: The Telangana government told the High Court on Thursday that it had asked all the district collectors in the state to ascertain the reasons for farmers’ suicides which occurred between December 2015 and January 2016.
Special government pleader S Sharath Kumar said the list submitted by the petitioners pursuant to the court direction showed that 150 farmers had committed suicide during the two-month period.
The special counsel made the submission before a division bench comprising acting chief justice Dilip B Bhosale and justice P Naveen Rao which was dealing with PILs filed separately by Vyavasaya Jana Chaitanya Samithi, Pakala Srihari Rao and others challenging the failure of TS and Andhra Pradesh governments to curb farmers’ suicides in their states.
Telangana Vidyavanthula Vedika, represented by its honorary president M Kodandaram, and Telangana Rythu Joint Action Committee, represented by L Jalapathi Rao, were also made parties to the case. On an earlier occasion, the bench had ordered the petitioners to furnish the details of suicides committed in the last two months due to harassment of private moneylenders to the special government pleader to facilitate him to verify and cause appropriate inquiry into it. Accordingly, the lists were given by the petitioners and the state sent them to the district collectors and asked them to inquire into each of the incidents and report back to the government for necessary action.
The special counsel sought three weeks’ time to complete the inquiry by the collectors in all the cases and to submit case-wise reports to the government. B Rachna Reddy, counsel for Telangana JAC chairman Kodandaram, contended that most suicides were due to harassment by private lenders. The special counsel said committees headed by RDOs were formed and they were asked to register cases against such moneylenders. The bench adjourned the hearing by three weeks to facilitate the government to come up with a detailed report.