Chandigarh, June 10:
A debt-ridden farmer, who met Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on April 28 after his crops were destroyed by unseasonal rain, committed suicide on Wednesday by consuming poison, his son said.
Surjit Singh, 60, of Dadumajra village near Chunni Kalan in Fategarh Sahib had a debt of Rs.13.50 lakh.
“Our wheat crop was destroyed by unseasonal rain in March and April and this was the reason for the suicide of my father,” his son Kulwinder Singh told reporters.
Though Surjit Singh left no suicide note, it is being said he was under depression for quite some time.
Police have sent his body for post-mortem examination.
Surjit Singh was the same farmer who had briefed Gandhi about the problems of farmers and had even warned that if such problems were not resolved, many farmers might commit suicide.
Lok Sabha member and former chief minister Amarinder Singh expressed shock over the incident.
“The situation calls for agriculture emergency to tackle the agrarian crisis on emergency basis, lest it is too late,” he said.
Expressing condolences and sympathies to the bereaved family, Amarinder Singh said their loss was irreparable.
“On the one hand, the family is burdened with debt, and now it has lost a precious life to the vicious debt trap,” he added.
Official sources said crops in about seven lakh acres in Punjab were affected by the untimely rains.
Gandhi had last month taken his fight for the farmers and had boarded a train from Delhi to Ambala in Haryana to see their condition. He also visited Punjab to look at the situation of the farmers. (IANS)