Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 9:
Farmer suicides made a comeback in Odisha with two more deaths reported in past 48 hours.
While one of the deaths occurred in political hotspot Bargarh district where BJD, BJP and Congress have held major farmer rallies and conventions, the other one came from Ganjam – Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s own district.
As per reports, a 25 year old farmer – identified as Khusiram Pradhan from Chhuriapali village under Sohela block today committed suicide allegedly due to crop loss.
He was found hanging from a tree on the outskirts of the village this morning. A suicide note was recovered from him. Local cops have started the investigation based on the suicide note.
“He had grown paddy on two acres and pulses on another one acre. Paddy crops had been lost earlier. Now, the recent hailstorms destroyed the pulses too. He used to be in low spirits following that incident. We suspect he committed suicide because of it,” said a relative of Khusiram.
Similarly, the other farmer – identified as Ranjan Bhuyan (42) from Kodala area of Ganjam district breathed his last at about 3 AM on Tuesday while under treatment at MKCG Medical College and Hospital of Berhampur.
His relatives claimed that he had taken Rs 1.5 lakh loan from several villagers and banks to cultivate four acres of land. He was under stress after the crops were damaged owing to lack of irrigation facilities. He consumed pesticide on February 5 allegedly because of crop loss and loan burden.
Tension flared up in the village after his death as angry villagers blocked the Aska-Bhubaneswar road for several hours demanding compensation for Bhuyan’s family and release of water from Salia Dam to save vegetable crops.
The situation was brought under control after the local administration promised to pay Rs 10,000 compensation to the next of kin of Ranjan and agreed to release water from Salia Dam to Chandi canal.