Farmer deaths in Odisha not due to crop failure or loan burden

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government today expressed concern over the frequent farmer suicide cases in the state but refused to admit that the agrarian deaths were due to crop failure or loan burden.

Replying to an adjournment motion in the assembly, the Agriculture minister Pradip Kumar Maharathy said, “This is unfortunate that farmers commit sucide in the state. We are worried over the incidents. But, none of the five farmer death cases received so far in 2017 were due to crop failure or loan burden,” Maharathy informed the House.

The opposition Congress and BJP members had been claiming that the farmers took the extreme step and committed suicide due to crop loss and loan burden.

Maharathy said of the the five farmer suicide cases, four were investigated jointly by the district collectors and SPs of the concerned districts. In all the four cases, the cause of suicide was something else other than crop loss or the debt burden, the minister said.

He said farmer suicide cases were reported from the districts of Bargarh, Nabarangpur, Balasore, Boudh and Ganjam.

The district collectors and SPs have undertaken joint investigation into all such cases and found that the farmers died for some other reason, the minister said.

Regarding Bargarh district case, the minister said, “Farmer Hadu Bagarti committed sucide not for the crop failure. The reason could be something else”. Earlier, the minister in a statement in the assembly on March 4, had said that Hadu Bagarti committed sucide following a quarrel with his wife.

Earlier, the House during the question hour witnessed uproar over farmer suicide incidents as BJP members created ruckus. The House was adjourned for one hour till 11.34 AM.

The BJP members demanded a House Committee to probe farmer suicide case and were seen wearing black gowns.