At least eight debt-ridden farmers in Maharashtra`s Vidarbha region ended their lives in the past four days, including four who committed suicide Wednesday, an activist said.
“The bodies of two farmers were brought early today (Wednesday) from Bodadi and Sonegaon villages of Yavatmal district. As the autopsy was being carried out, two more bodies were received at the V.N. Government Medical College — all within a couple of hours,” Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS) president Kishore Tiwari told IANS.
The farmers who died Wednesday were identified as Bansi Rathode of Bodadi, Devrao Bhagwat of Sonegaon, Prakash Kutarmare of Mohada and Tulsiram Rathode of Devnala, according to VJAS secretary Mohan Jadhav.
Tiwari said four farmers committed suicide earlier this week — two each Jan 25 and Jan 27 — in different parts of Vidarbha.
“We have no information if anyone committed suicide on Republic Day (Jan 26) as it was a public holiday, and the government was busy with celebrations,” Tiwari said.
He attributed the spate of suicides in Vidarbha and other farmlands of Maharashtra to the sudden fall in prices of cotton and pulses.
Claiming that 62 farmers have ended their lives since Jan 1, Tiwari said 2015 could create a new record after 2013 when Maharashtra topped the National Crime Records Bureau figure for maximum farmland suicides at 3,146.
Jadhav said he was informed by the relatives of the farmers that they committed suicide “due to immense distress and despair” among their debt-hit families .
The VJAS leaders said they apprehend the worst with the oncoming summer season when the farming community has to grapple with scorching heat coupled with acute shortage of water.