Maharashtra farmer battles for life

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published Published on Mar 27, 2014   modified Modified on Mar 27, 2014

Nagpur (Maharashtra): Distraught over not getting compensation for losses suffered in the recent hailstorm in Maharashtra, a farmer consumed poison in the Yavatmal Collectorate office, officials said Tuesday.

The incident occurred late Monday. Farmer Janardhan Raut, 70, hails from Akpuri village and is now battling for life in a hospital.

"There was this unfortunate incident just outside my office and we rushed him to hospital. We are taking details about the farmer, his debts, losses, etc," Yavatmal collector Ashwin Muddal said.

"We have found a suicide note from his person and we are investigating," an official from Yavatmal police station said.

According to Kishore Tiwari, chief of NGO Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, Mr Raut had gone to the Collectorate to enquire when he would get the compensation for losses suffered in the hailstorm.

"He is also facing harassment from some private money lenders for old farm loans, details of which we are inquiring into," Mr Tiwari said.

The hailstorm and unseasonal rains lashed 28 of the 35 districts in the state in February-March, damaging or destroying standing crops in about 1.90 million hectares of farmland barring the coastal Konkan region.

As many as 18 farmers have committed suicide in the Vidarbha region alone while the state-wide figure has crossed 100, Mr Tiwari said.

Despite announcements by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and a visit by a central assessment team, the farmers have not received any assistance, he added.

The Hindu, 25 March, 2014,

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