Farmer suicides spree on in Odisha; three more end life in a day

Bolangir: Farmer suicide cases in Odisha go unabated as two ryots took the extreme step in Bolangir district today taking the unofficial toll to five in the district in past fifteen days.

The deceased have been identified as Parikhita Nag of Batharala under Sindhikela police limits and Krutibas Gahir of Ramudha village in Turekela block.

Reports reaching here said Desh Dehuri, a farmer of Bhaliadihi village under Sadar Block of Keonjhar district took the extreme step today due to crop loss.

Two days back Nag and Gahir were admitted to Mission Hospital in Khariar and Patnagarh hospital respectively, after they consumed pesticide allegedly due to crop failure and loan burden.

Family sources said Nag had grown cotton in two acres land and paddy in one acre for which he had borrowed money from his relatives. He was under severe mental stress due to crop failure which resulted out of scanty rain fall in the monsoon season, sources added.

Gahir too committed suicide fearing non-repayment of heavy loans which he had taken from local moneylenders, locals said.

It may be noted that Bolangir district has become one of the worst victims of drought this year with official figures showing 33% crop loss in 14 tehsils of the drought-hit district this season.

Figures tallied by the district administration too showed that as many as 1,08,613 farmers have been affected by the natural calamity that has multiplied the woes of the agrarian community.

Not only Bolangir, the neighbouring Boudh and Kalahandi districts have also faced the wrath of drought this year prompting the loan-burdened ryots to hit streets demanding special package in terms of loan waiver for their region.

A farmers’ rally in this regard was organized in Boudh district in which the agitating farmers demanded that Khatkhatia, SImilipadar, Ghikundi gram panchayats must be declared total drought affected.

Similarly, locals under the aegis of Anchalik Chasi Surakhya Samiti took out a massive rally in Kalahandi today and demanded that Govardhanpur gram panchayat under Lanjigarh block should be declared complete drought-hit by the State government.

Meanwhile, Sundergarh MP and Union minister Jual Oram visited nearly 10 villages of the drought-hit district and took stock of the situation. He assured the farmers to take up the matter with the State government.