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Loan burden forces yet another farmer in Odisha to end life

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bargarh, July 20:

Two days after the suicide of a young farmer in Odisha’s Bargarh district, another farmer, a share cropper, Raju Bachha (60) of Kurla village in the sadar block of the same district,  has committed suicide by consuming pesticide on Saturday.

He took the extreme step after sustaining heavy losses in vegetable farming, sources in his family said.

The Bargarh police who seized his body as also the pesticide container from his farm, have registered a case of unnatural death.

Sources said the deceased, Raju Bachha, was a landless farmer who used to cultivate vegetables as a sharecropper.

“This year my father had cultivated pointed gourd (potala in Odia) on a 30 decimal plot belonging to a fellow villager,” said Sudam Bachha, son of the deceased farmer.

Raju had cultivated pointed gourd on the same piece of land last year also and had sustained losses due to crop failure. He had borrowed Rs 20,000 as hand loan to buy pesticides and fertilizers thsi year, his son Sudam said.

He said his father was under terrible mental pressure to repay the outstanding loans as his pointed gourd crop this year too was badly affected due to shortage of water and pest attack.

” He was terribly upset and disturbed since  Thursday night’, Sudam said.

Sources revealed that although Raju suffered from tuberculosis, he toiled hard as a sharecropper only to repay his loans .

Early on Saturday morning Raju had left for his field to spray pesticide on the diseased crop.

Later, around 8 am, villagers informed Sudam that his father was lying unconscious in the field. He rushed to the field and took his father to the Bargarh district headquarters hospital with the help of fellow villagers. However, Raju passed away around 11am while undergoing treatment, police sources said.

Raju’s death was caused due to poisoning, the police said.

It may be recalled here that on July 17 a young farmer Bhagwan Pradhan of Nuapalli village in Bheden block of Bargarh district had ended his life by consuming poison after he failed to repay loans he had incurred for farming.