24 hrs after BJD’s ‘Chasi Samavesh’, 3 more farmers end life

Dhenkanal/Rourkela: Barely 24 hours after a slew of sops announced by chief minister Naveen Patnaik for the farmers at BJD’s Sohela ‘Chasi Samabesh’, three more peasant deaths were reported one each from Dhenkanal, Sundergarh and Nuapara districts on Friday. On the other hand, farmers in Jeypore districts are protesting nonpayment of dues after the rabi season’s paddy procurement.

Diganta Das of Raitala village under Gondia block in Dhenkanal, who consumed poison on Thursday night, died at the district headquarters hospital while undergoing treatment. Family sources said Diganta had grown paddy on five acres of land for which he had borrowed loans of Rs 5 lakh from the local moneylenders and banks.

However, the crops were damaged due to scanty rainfall. Unable to bear the losses, the farmer took the extreme step.

In a separate incident, another peasant, identified as Satana Ekka of Koparanda village under Bisra block in Sundergarh district ended life by hanging himself from a tree at his farm land.

He had taken loans from the local money lenders for cultivation. The dejected farmer, being unable to repay the loans, gave up wish to live.

Daughter of the deceased farmer Bijayalaxmi Eka said “His father was under severe mental stress over the loans he had taken for farming after his standing paddy crops were ruined due to drought in the district.”

“We asked his daughter, and it seems he had mild and intermittent fever since last week. More clarity will be there after we probe the matter,” said Bisra BDO Alfaz Bilung.

Similarly, in Dangariguda in Sinapali area in Nuapara district, dead body of farmer Sobhasingh Majhi’s was found from a field. According to his wife, Majhi took loans from banks and money lenders. Unable to bear the burden of
debt repayments after crop loss, he committed suicide, his wife alleged.

One of Majhi’s relative said “He cultivated around 2-2.5 acre land on sharing basis and all of it were destroyed in the drought. We didn’t expect him to take such a step.”

We will immediately visit the place and conduct an inquiry into the the circumstances which led him to take such an extreme step.

On the other hand, a 12-hr bandh was called by Koraput Jilla Krusak Kalayn Manch today demanding payment of pending dues of rabi paddy procurement to farmers in the district.

The Manch said it resorted to this step after the district administration failed to keep its words and provide the payment dues.

“We brought our produce to the mandi’s to sell it. Now our aim is to get back the pending payments,” said one agitating farmer.

The Koraput District Congress extended its support to the bandh call.

Talking to mediapersons, Congress chief whip and local MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati said four MLAs of Koraput district and Zilla Parishads would meet Governor SC Jamir on the procurement dues issue.

Meanwhile, BJD spokesperson Rabinarayan Nanda urged the district administration to immediately released the procurement dues to the farmers without letting the issue to aggravate.