Day after CM’s assurance, three more farmers end life

Bargarh/ Dhenkanal/Keonjhar: A day after chief minister Naveen Patnaik assured the farming community of not to be worried for agriculture loans, three other farmers committed suicide by consuming poison in Dhenkanal, Keonjhar and Bargarh districts on Monday.

Satrugna Behera of Tikarpada in Keonjhar district ended life due to crop loss and debt burden while Baidhar Pradhan of Sankulei under Sadar block in Dhenkanal district killed self by consuming poison. Similarly, Pabitra Bariha of Saribahal in Bargarh took the drastic step in similar manner.

Baidhar Pradhan had consumed pesticide one day ago and was admitted to SCB medical college hospital in Cuttack. However, he died while undergoing treatment.

Family members of Pradhan said he was under severe mental stress due to burden of loans. Severe crop loss had also added to woes of debt stress, they added.

Similarly, Bariha had had grown paddy and vegetables in eight acres of land this year for which he had borrowed loans of around Rs 1.5 lakhs from Uco Bank and SBI and Rs 50,000 from private money lenders, sources said.

However, his crops were completely damaged due to weak monsoon, family sources said. Unable to bear the burden of debt, he allegedly consumed pesticide two days ago. He was admitted to Baragarh district headquarters hospital, family members said.

Villagers and family members demanded compensation due to crop loss. As per the latest report, no administrative officials have reached the village, sources said.

Notably, chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Sunday said the State government would reschedule crop loans for the drought affected farmers.

Announcing this after returning from his five-day New Delhi tour, Patnaik said the farmers should not be worried over agriculture loans.