A year after death, Gujarat court certifies it as farm suicide


Written by Rohit Bhan |  NDTV Updated: May 29, 2013 1

AhmedabadLast year when marginal farmer Anirudh Jadeja of Khijdad village in Gujarat’s Saurashtra had committed suicide, a hasty local police termed it as an accidental death due to a domestic strife.

The family had contested the claims and even decided to fight a long, legal battle despite monetary restrictions.

On Monday, a local court in Jamnagar ruled in their favour terming it as a farm suicide – relief for a family which had presented a plethora of documents including a letter addressed by Anirudh to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, revealing his debt worries due to failed monsoon.

In his letter, Anirudh had even mentioned about the failed crop and a fear of bank officials knocking at his door to recover Rs. 11,000 he had taken as loan.

“There was pressure from the bank as his crop had failed due to almost negligible rains. He had a big family and was under extreme pressure… he had no option but to commit suicide, something the police refused to accept,” said his uncle Laljibhai Jadeja. In Suarashtra, it is the same story again this year.

Sheetal Bhaliya, a farmer in Amreli, is hoping this year the rains are adequate or else disaster looms large. The last six months have been a terrible struggle for farmers like him to make both ends meet.

“The crop spread in five bighas of land had got destroyed last year. I have a family of 10 to take care of. It is a struggle taking care of the family members,” said Sheetal Bhaliya.

The government seems unfazed. Last year due to failed monsoons, 62 farmers committed suicide in Gujarat. Activists claim that the number is much more as police refuse to record them as farm suicides.

Even when they are acknowledged as farm suicides, compensation is not paid to families. Right to Information (RTI) activists have been writing letters to the government, but with no results. It’s a sad state of affairs.

“Till September last year, 42 such deaths were reported and in the entire 2012, 62 farmers committed suicide. But compensation hasn’t been given even to one farmer,” said RTI activist Bharatsinh Jhala.

With government not listening to their woes, farmers are looking towards the rain gods for a little help this year.

 

Scientist’s warn Assam could go Chhattisgarh way on farmer suicides


TNN Jun 3, 2012, 01.08AM IST

GUWAHATI: Agriculture scientist GV Ramanjaneyulu on Saturday said Assam could go the Chhattisgarh way in terms of farmers‘ suicides if the state government fails to implement concrete measures in protecting the interests of farmers.

The scientist was speaking at an interactive session titled “The Current Crisis in Indian Agriculture and the Way Forward” held in Cotton College State University, organized by its department of economics. He emphasized on the comparisons between Assam and Chhattisgarh in terms of production of different varieties of rice and engagement of tribals in farming and agriculture.

“What happened in Chhattisgarh was quite unfortunate because the state government had decided to introduce hybrid rice which almost made the traditional varieties extinct. Besides, there were many flawed measures introduced by the government which proved disastrous. Farmers have become an endangered species,” said Ramanjaneyulu, executive director Centre for Advanced Sustentative Agriculture, Hyderabad.

“That state has witnessed a large number of farmers committing suicide. But Assam has the lowest record of farmers’ suicide. However the situation could go wrong if the state government decides to introduce hybrid variety and Assam could suffer the same fate as Chhattisgarh. The government must put a check on farming by migrants as they tend to use fertilizers because they don’t have any bond towards the land,” added the scientist.

The scientist also took a dig at chief minister Tarun Gogoi’s recent announcement to allocate Rs 33 crore for organic farming by stating that until and unless there are some concrete policies regarding how and where to promote such farming, the entire money could go waste.

On the issue of green revolution being shifted to the eastern region of the country, Ramanjaneyulu said, “It needs to be properly addressed. If there are pesticides involved in agricultural fields in the upper-stream, then there are possibilities of them being disposed in the downstream. Assam has a rich history of producing different varieties of rice. But it has lost most varieties now.”

More than 1000 farmers commit suicide every year in Bengal


KOLKATA, Jan 27 – Although the Chief Minister of Bengal has ruled out the recent farmer’s death in the state but according to the State Agriculture Minister, Rabindranath Bhattacharya, last year there were 1,200 farmer suicides, while in 2009 and 2010 there were 1,054 and 993 farmer suicides, respectively.

The CM‘s rejection came a day after Bengal Governor stated that farmer’s suicide is an ‘unfortunate’ incident. The CM claimed that there was only one farmer’s death since she came to power. There were reports of 26 such incident in last eight weeks alone.

Mr Bhattacharya, however, admitted that they were handicapped by severe fund crunch, adding that the poor condition of the state exchequer and failure to set up sale counters across the state delayed paddy procurement.

Although the government ruled out distress sale leading to farmers suicide at a mass scale, it has decided to take a special drive and conduct camps in the next one month to procure additional paddy.

The state food and supplies department plans to procure around 1000 metric ton of paddy through camps that would be held on 27 and 29 January. Similar camps would be held next month as well. Till now, the government has procured 3.67 lakh metric ton of paddy and is yet to procure 13 lakh metric ton. The Food Corporation of India targets a procurement of 4.5 lakh metric ton within September.

Ms Bannerjee also rejected the suggestion of CPI-M MLA that an all party team should visit the place. Congress and CPM, both, criticized this decision of Bannerjee.

By- Jitendra, Newzfirst at http://www.newzfirst.com/web/guest/

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