Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Banki/Nayagarh/Dhenkanal, Oct 23:
While another farmer allegedly committed suicide due to crop failure and debt burden in the state today in Banki sub-division of Cuttack district further adding to the ever growing list of alleged suicides by farmers, in a delayed response though two ministers of the Odisha government visited Nayagarh district to take stock of the drought situation.
Banka Bihari Rout, a farmer of Brahmapur village under Banki sub-division of Cuttack district committed suicide today by allegedly consuming poison as his crops had failed and he was under mental pressure to repay his loans.
The deceased farmer’s family alleged that Banka Bihari’s crops had failed and was in distress over the prospects of repaying loans that he had taken for his crops.
Banka Bihari had grown paddy and vegetable crops in about four acres of land which were ruined due to scanty rainfall.
According to his family members he had borrowed Rs 2.5 lakh from the local self help group for cultivation. He had gone to sleep on Thursday night after taking his dinner but had consumed poison waking up in the mid of the night and was found dead today, his family members said.
“My father was in a disturbed state of mind over the prospect of repayment of loans he had taken cultivation since our crops had failed. He had gone to sleep in the night after having his food. He had woken up in the night and consumed poison. We found him dead in the morning,” said Srikant Rout, son of deceased Banka Bihari.
“He was always under mental stress on how to repay the money he had borrowed since crops had failed. Now he is gone,” said deceased Banka Bihari’s wife who was in a disconsolate state.
Agriculture Minister Pradip Maharathy accompanied by Law & Panchayati Raj Minister and Local MLA Arun Sahu today toured drought affected areas of Nayagarh district to take stock of the situation, while meeting affected farmers to hear their grievances.
“It takes a little time to submit the report since the government especially Naveen Patnaik’s government considers farmer suicide as a serious matter. Everything from the cause of the incident to the post-mortem report has to be taken into account before submission of report.
In the meanwhile, politics has taken centre stage over alleged farmer suicides in the state, Naba Nirman Krushak Sangathan, a farmers’ outfit today organized a block level convention of farmers at Kankadahada in Dhenkanal district.
The outfit apart from seeking measures by the government to contain the drought situation in the district demanded an assistance of Rs 5,000 a month to each affected family till the harvesting of paddy.