Three farmers allegedly ended their lives in Madhya Pradesh in the past 24 hours due to distress over debts, taking the number of farmer suicides in the state since June 8 to 15.
In Sehore alone, the home district of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, five suicides have been reported.
Bansilal Meena, a 55-year-old farmer from Jamunia Khurd village in Sehore district, allegedly committed suicide by hanging himself from ceiling at his home on Monday morning, the police said.
Meena's son Manoj said his father owned nine acre land and was unable to repay a loan of Rs 11 lakh.
“My father got a well dug up this year but it was dry. Besides, he was unable to repay the loan worth Rs 11 lakh taken from banks and private money lenders,” he said.
Sehore Assistant Superintendent of Police A P Singh said a case has been registered in connection with the farmer’s death.
Another farmer Jiwan Singh Meena, 35, committed suicide on Sunday by hanging from a tree at his farm in Sayar Bamor village in Vidisha district.
Tehsildar Santosh Bitoliya claimed that Meena took the extreme step following a strife with his wife.
However, a family member of Meena said he was worried about the future of his three daughters amid his spiralling debt.
In a separate incident, farmer Pyarelal Oad, 60, hanged himself to death in Neemuch district's Pipliya Vyas village on Sunday afternoon.
Dev Karan, Oad’s son, said his father was under stress as he was unable to repay a loan worth Rs 2.5 lakh taken from a nationalised bank.
City police station in-charge Hitesh Patil said a case has been registered in this connection.
Neemuch Collector Kaushlendra Vikram Singh ordered a magisterial inquiry into the incident and extended a financial help of Rs 20,000 to the family.
Former MP and Congress national secretary Meenakshi Natarajan on Sunday visited the village and met Oad’s family.
“Madhya Pradesh is leading in farmers’ suicide after Maharashtra, according to the National Crime Record Bureau. It is sad that farmers are taking such steps due to increasing debt. They are also not getting proper prices for their produce in the state,” Natarajan later said.
MP recently witnessed farmers’ stir over loan waiver, farm produce prices and other demands. The death of five farmers in police firing in Mandsaur district on June 6 during the unrest triggered a series of protests in various parts of the state.
Since June 8, 15 farmers have ended their lives in Sehore, Hoshangabad, Raisen, Dhar and Vidisha districts.