**Nabarangpur:** Yet another farmer named Shiba Prasad Bhatra(46) allegedly consumed poison and committed suicide unable to pay debts. He hailed from Sanamasi village of Nabarangpur Sadar block. This is the second instance of a farmer committing suicide due to debt burden within a span of a week close on the heels of the Bargarh farmer’s suicide.
Notably, the farmer consumed poison in the fields on March 2 (Thursday) afternoon. He was rushed to the government hospital but he died today at around 8 am. He is survived by his wife and four children (2 sons and 2 daughters).
“He had 50 decimal land and used it in paddy cultivation. He had taken loans from LAMPS (rural co-operative bank) and Utkal Gramya Bank. The standing crops failed and the debt burden drove him to suicide,” stated Sanandi Bhatra, wife of the deceased farmer.
A case of unnatural death has been registered. Nabarangpur Town police station IIC Prabhas Shankar Nayak said.
Investigation is on, the police said.
According to reports, Shivaprasad had taken loan from two banks for agricultural purpose.
Senior Congress leader Pradip Majhi condemned various schemes of the Odisha government which is unable to stop such farmer suicides.
“The government should take adequate steps to prevent such further incidents. It should pay a compensation amount of Rs 10 lakhs to the family of the deceased,” he demanded.
Refuting the allegations, BJD spokesperson, Sashibhusan Behera retorted, “The government has launched adequate schemes for the farmers and is working for the upliftment of the farmers. These stray incidents across the State and the country have been blown out of proportions.”
On February 28, Khainu Bagarti alias Hadu (55) died in a government hospital, two days after he consumed poison. The farmer of Kenpalli village of Bargarh district was under stress due to crop loss and debt burden. Horticulture Director, Deputy Director of agriculture department who went for fresh probe were detained by villagers over submitting false report to the Government earlier.
The most farmer suicides in a year took place in 1998, when 418 farmers killed themselves across the state.
The reason for farmer suicide have remained the same over the years: crop failure, indebtedness, the inability to continue farming due to illness, loss of prestige and self-esteem after being forced to work as labourers following the failure of crops and domestic problems arising out of poverty.