Bhubaneswar, Oct 24:
Suicides by farmers are continuing in Odisha as the deadly cocktail of debt and drought claimed three more lives on Saturday.
A farmer identified as Debendra Mohapatra of Khetrapal village in Jajpur district on Saturday breathed his last at the a Cuttack hospital.
Mohapatra consumed pesticide four days ago following crop loss and loan burden.
“My brother had taken loan from individual creditors, society as well as bank for paddy cultivation. But, when the crops were damaged due to weak monsoon, he committed suicide finding it difficult to repay the debt,” his sister said.
Another farmer Hadibandhu Mallick of Kumarpur village in Cuttack district also succumbed at the hospital. He had consumed poison on Friday.
Family sources said, Mallick had cultivated paddy in his four acres of land this year and borrowed loan from a bank for this purpose. But, he sustained massive crop loss due to scanty rainfall and his hope of repaying the loan shattered following which he took this step.
Farmer Ramesh Rout of Nayanand village in Bhadrak district also died after he consumed poison.
The death of farmers continued despite the state government announced a Rs.1,000 crore drought assistance package for them.
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), 3,602 people employed in the farming and agriculture sectors committed suicide between 1999 and 2013 in Odisha.
The dead comprised 3,128 men and 474 women. (IANS)