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Farmers’ suicide: NHRC sends notice to Maharashtra over compensation issue

The National Human Rights Commission on Tuesday issued a notice to the Maharashtra government over reports that families of 2,731 farmers, who committed suicide in the state, were held “ineligible” to get compensation.

The Commission has observed that the contents of the media report, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of human rights of families of the farmers who committed suicide in Maharashtra. Accordingly, it has issued notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Maharashtra calling for a report within two weeks.

The notice was issued after the Commission took suomotu cognisance of a media report that the families of 2,731 farmers, who committed suicide during the last four years in Maharashtra, were “not eligible” to get even a paltry sum of Rs one lakh as compensation under the government rules.

NHRC has also decided to club this issue with five similar cases registered in the year 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, relating to farmers’ suicide in Maharashtra and which are pending due to non-receipt of requisite reports from the state government.

Quoting the contents of the Maharashtra government’s reply to an RTI application filed by an activist, the media report said that a total of 56,98 farmers committed suicide in the rural Maharashtra since 2011.

“However, spouses of 2,731 victims were found ineligible to receive government aid, either because the deceased did not have a bank loan against the cultivation planned in that season or did not own a piece of land. The activists have been demanding for an urgent review of the compensation system to strengthen the agrarian economy,” the statement said.

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