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3 debt-ridden farmers end life in Karnataka 3 debt-ridden farmers end life in Karnataka

Jun-30-2015 | 0 Comments


BENGALURU: At least three debt-ridden Karnataka farmers — two in Mandya district and one in Chikkaballapur district — committed suicide on Monday. With this, Mandya district has recorded five such farmer deaths in 10 days. Also on Monday, an agriculturist couple survived a suicide bid in Shivamogga district.

Mahesh (35) hanged himself from a tree on the outskirts of Panakanahalli village in Mandya taluk, and Basavarajappa (52) of Bannangadi village of Pandavapura taluk of Mandya district died after consuming pesticide. Mahesh was cultivating sugarcane and paddy on his two-and-a-half-acre plot, and Basavarajappa was a horticulturist with three acres of land.

In Gidaganahalli village of Gauribidanur taluk of Chikkaballapur district, Bhoganandishwarappa (55) committed suicide by consuming pesticide. He was upset about his borewell's below-par water yield.

Mahesh had taken loans of Rs 1 lakh from Syndicate Bank, Rs 50,000 from State Bank of Mysore and Rs 40,000 from Primary Agriculture Co-operative Credit Society, besides various amounts from private moneylenders. He is survived by his widowed mother and two younger sisters. He is said to have borrowed huge sums of money for his sisters' marriage.

After his debtors served notices on him, Mahesh pawned gold ornaments, sold one acre of land and entered into an agreement to sell another 20 guntas. He paid Rs 30,000 to his creditors by selling paddy a few days ago. Mahesh was worried about his loans despite all his efforts.

Basavarajappa had borrowed Rs 3 lakh from banks and moneylenders. The sudden fall in vegetable and flower prices had pushed him deeper into the red. On Sunday evening, he reportedly fought with his son over the debts. A distraught Basavarajappa left home early Monday and was found dead in his fields. A bottle of pesticide lay next to his body.

Chikkaballapur deputy superintendent of police Rajendra Kumar said Gidaganahalli farmer Bhoganandishwarappa owned two acres of land and had got a borewell drilled three years ago. The borewell wasn't yielding water regularly though it reached a depth of 800 ft. The farmer got the bore re-drilled eight months ago. On May 25, a third round of drilling was carried out.

On Friday, he installed a new pump. On Sunday, there was no power and he couldn't ascertain if the borewell was yielding water. His two sons returned home from the fields, but Bhoganandishwarappa stayed back. Around midnight, he reportedly called up one of his sons and told him the borewell yield was still not enough to grow paddy or ragi. On Monday, Bhoganandishwarappa's sons went to the field to find their father dead.

Meanwhile, a farmer couple allegedly swallowed pesticide in Choradi village, near Kumsi, Shivamogga district, on Monday, after rain destroyed their crop. Teekappa (54) and his wife Jankamma (43) had borrowed Rs 5 lakh from a bank and cooperative societies. The couple consumed pesticide when their 12-year-old son was away in the fields. Their screams for help drew the attention of neighbours, who took them to a Shivamogga hospital. The couple are out of danger.

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