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60 Odisha farmers commit suicide in last two months: Unofficial reports
Suicide by farmers in Odisha is on rise and it appears that no preventive steps are being taken. Till today since last four days (Saturday) six farmers committed suicide due to crop loss and debt burden in Nuapada, Bolangir, Dhenkanal and Jajpur districts in Odisha state.

In the first incident, farmer Sadhu Nial (40) of Junagarhpada under Nuapada district hanged himself from the thatched roof in absence of his family on Saturday. He had borrowed Rs 30,000 from self help group and Rs 15,000 from private money-lenders, but suffered crop loss due to inadequate rainfall.

In another incident on Friday night, a share-cropper Lakhindra Putel in Matimunda in Patnagarh in Bolangir district consumed pesticide and committed suicide. In the third incident another farmer Bharamarabar Nayak of Ostapala village under Odapada block in Dhenkanal district consumed pesticide and committed suicide in his paddy field on Saturday.

Share-cropper Sadhu Laguri (46) of Mundasahi under Sukinda block in Jajpur district committed suicide by hanging himself from a mango tree near his paddy field on Saturday evening. He had barrowed very good amount for the crop. In another case a 45 year old woman farmer, Ujili Bag consumed pesticide on Saturday night and died on Sunday.

She had cotton crop in five acres and paddy in two acres of land, which she was looking after with her husband Duryodhan. She was the native of Dhusamunda village under Turekela police limits of Balangir district. The total number of farmers suicide cases have touched the mark of 45 since September's first week as per the government records. However, unofficial figures put the toll at 60.

The district collectors in their reports mentioned farmers had committed suicide either due to family problems or consumption of liquor. A fact-finding team of the BJP, led by Bijoy Mohapatra, visited number of villages and demanded that the government should immediately announce waiver of bank loans and facilitate financial aid to all the affected farmers.

He said that the Collectors, who are submitting false reports on farmer's suicides, should be taken to task by the government. Mohapatra was accompanied by state secretary of the party Bhrugu Buxipatra and local leader of Rayagada district, Siba Sankar Ulaka.

Odisha Chief Minister Mr Naveen Patnaik introduced Aahar Scheme under which rice and dalma (cooked dal mixed with green vegetable) is being sold at Rs 5/- per meal for poor people at five cities.

Aahar centres are also going to be opened near all district head quarter hospitals and Industrial towns of the state. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also announced to increase the annual out-lay for Biju KBK Yojana from Rs 120 crore to Rs 250 crore. The KBK region comprises eight districts of Koraput, Rayagada, Malakanagiri, Nabarangpur, Bolangir, Subarnapur, Kalhandi and Nuapada.

The Supreme Court's Social Justice bench headed by justice Madan B. Lokur had asked why there were suicides by farmers at all, "decrease in number (of Suicides) is not enough, there should be no case of farmer suicide in the country ", Justice Lokur observed. It also questioned about the conduct of annual meetings of a committee headed by renowned agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan.

The bench was hearing a public interest litigation petition asking the government to take steps to prevent farmers suicides. It had asked the Centre to file an affidavit with in six weeks from 21st August, 2015 making clear its stand on revisiting the policy. The apex court sought the government response.

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