MP farmers’ body count rises

Four deaths in 24 hours raises toll to 21 in 15 days

BHOPAL: A farmer allegedly committed suicide in chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s Budhni constituency in Sehore district for unable to pay a ₹10-lakh loan.

Tractor trolleys laden with onions line up outside a mandi on the Bhopal­Indore highway in Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday.He was among the four farmers who committed suicide in the last 24 hours in the state, bringing the toll to 21 since the farmers’ agitation in Mandsaur. Besides Sehore, suicides were reported from Sagar and Chhatarpur in Bundelkhand area and Chhindwara district, where debt was the prime reason for taking the extreme step.

Farmer Shatrughan Meena of village Gawadiya was upset over the past few days as he was unable to pay a loan of ₹10 lakh. His nephew Girish Meena said due to mounting losses his uncle was unable to pay the loan. “He was also being harassed by administration while trying to get a new electricity connection. On Thursday, he consumed pesticides. When we saw him unconscious, we rushed him to Hoshangabad where doctor declared him brought dead.”

Budhni police sub-inspector Sanjeev Shrivastava said they have registered the case and have begun investigation.

Gulai Kurmi, 48, of Basahri village Sagar district, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself on Wednesday evening. Police have also recovered a suicide note which said a local money lender had been harassing him over a loan repayment. In the note, the farmer said the money lender had cheated him and had fraudulently taken over his land.

Bina senior district officer RS Parmar said they will tally the note with his signature.

Another, a 75-year-old farmer, Mahesh Tiwari, allegedly killed himself on Wednesday night at his home in Sandhya Vihar colony in Chhatarpur district. His elder son, Omprakash Tiwari, said consecutive years of drought and excessive rain had led to crop loss and increased the loan burden. “My father was tense over these things and he committed suicide,” Omprakash said.

Civil line police station officer Arvind Kujur told HT that primafacie the deceased was ill and therefore committed suicide. He did not have any loan in his name, the police pointed out.

Farmer Shyam Kumar of Kachram village, Chhindwara district, committed suicide on Thursday. Parasia police said he had a loan of ₹3 lakh against him and dues of the power company. The police said they are investigating the matter.

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