Mumbai: A 50-year-old debt-ridden farmer in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal district committed suicide by drinking poison on Tuesday, blaming Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the ruling NDA government in his suicide note.
Shankar Bhaurao Chayre, from Rajurwadi village in Yavatmal district, among the worst-hit in the country due to the agrarian distress, also sought help for his family in the suicide note.
Nearly 12 hours after the incident, the family refused to take over his body from the Vasantrao Naik Medical College Hospital morgue for last rites.
The family demanded that either PM Modi should visit them to understand their problems or the state government should hand over full compensation before they would accept the body.
Stunned by the development, Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavalamban Mission (SNSSM) President Kishore Tiwari announced he will visit the farmer’s family on Wednesday morning.
“We shall provide an immediate relief of Rs. 100,000 to the family. Chayre leaves behind his wife, their three daughters (including one married) and a son. We have decided to adopt them by providing them full education, or if they are already qualified, with gainful employment to help the family survive,” Mr Tiwari told IANS.
According to information available, the distraught Chayre went to his farmland on Tuesday morning and attempted to hang himself from a tree.
However, the rope snapped, so he consumed poison and fell unconscious, even as some workers rushed him to a local hospital in a serious condition.
The medical officials there informed that the case was critical and advised them to seek help from Yavatmal town. He was taken to a hospital there but doctors declared him dead.
In a crumpled two-page handwritten suicide note recovered by police, Chayre narrated how he had sought help from various officials in the government, including MPs, MLAs, state ministers and others but was ignored.
He narrated that he had a nine-acre farm on which he had planted cotton, for which he availed a loan of Rs. 90,000 from a local cooperative society and Rs. 300,000 from a private party.
However, due to the bollworm infection on cotton crops in many parts of Vidarbha, his crop was destroyed and he experienced extreme crises in repaying his loans.
“I have a large debt burden, So I am committing suicide. The Narendra Modi government is responsible,” he said in his suicide note.
VNSSM’s Tiwari said that owing to the completely casual approach of the government and the public sector banks, the farm loan waiver scheme announced in June 2017 has yet to reach a vast majority of the beneficiaries.
Besides, other interim aid measures announced in December have also yet to reach the poor farmers, “creating a crisis of mega-proportions in the Maharashtra farmlands”.