A growing concern: Three more Kerala farmers commit suicide

TRIVANDRUM — Amidst the raging controversy over the reasons behind the recent spate of suicides by farmers in Kerala, three more peasants allegedly ended their life on Monday.

By T K Devasia

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Published: Tue 22 Nov 2011, 10:46 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 12:21 AM

While two farmers were found hanging in their house premises in Wayanad district another ended his life in Palghat district by consuming poison. Farmer Kunhi Krishnan (50) from Thazhamunda under Kenikkara police station limit resorted to the extreme step due to debt burden, his family members said.

K K Oseph (48), a native of Meenagadi Purakkadi native, also ended his life due to debt burden. His relatives said the farmer was under stress due to his inability to pay Rs200,000 he availed from a bank. The third farmer to commit suicide was identified as Chandran (55), hailing from Peruvembu in Palghat district. Engaged in rice cultivation, Chandran had sold 50 cents of his agriculture land recently due to financial burden.

With these, the number of farmers who have committed suicide due to debt burden has risen to eight in the last one month. Of these, five are in the northern district of Wayanad, where the farmers are hit hard by the crash in the prices of ginger.

The suicides hit a controversy after Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said that debt burden was not the actual cause for the death of some of the farmers. He said that some farmers has used the loan they took from bank to meet other needs.

However, the opposition Left Democratic Front termed his statement as part of an attempt to cover up the government’s failures. An opposition delegation, which visited Wayanad district, said that the suicides were due to the agricultural crisis.

The team led by LDF Convenor Vaikom Viswan after visiting the four families said a serious situation had arisen in the district where farmers were not in a position to continue with farming activities due to various reasons like debt-trap following crop failure, and inadequate support price for their produce.

They have urged the government to write off the loans availed by the distressed farmers from all banks. They said that the moratorium on repayment of loans availed from government institutions was not enough. The opposition also demanded a government job to the kin of the deceased farmers.


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