In Maharashtra, debt-ridden farmer blames PM Modi for suicide
Upset with mounting debts and poor crops, 55-year-old farmer Shankar Bhaurao Chawre committed suicide by consuming pesticide. A resident of Rajurwadi village in Ghatanji tehsil of Yavatmal, Maharashtra, Chawre blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his six-page-long suicide note. The bereaved family refused to claim the body till a criminal offense was registered against PM. They also demanded Rs. 1 crore compensation.
Police awaiting post-mortem to learn actual cause of death
Though Chawre wrote, "I am committing suicide due to the loan burden and Narendra Modi government is responsible for my suicide" in his suicide note, Yavatmal superintendent of police Raj Kumar said they are yet to verify the authenticity and cause of death. Chawre had earlier tried committing suicide by hanging from a tree but after the rope snapped, he consumed pesticides.
Survived by wife, four kids, Chawre owed Rs. 1.90L
Chawre is survived by wife Alka (47), daughters Jayashree (19), Bhagyashree (18), Dhanshree (17) and son Aakash (14). The farmer owed Rs. 1.90 lakh to banks and other moneylenders. He had 9 acres of land but lately the red bollworm attack on his cotton crop frustrated him. Expenses of kids' education and other familial obligations added to his miseries.
Family being misled by political rivals, say officials
The chairperson of the state agriculture mission, Kishore Tiwari, said the family will be fairly compensated. On the accusations levelled on the PM, Tiwari said, "They (political rivals) are also misleading the family members." The bollworm attack has destroyed a standing cotton crop of nearly 15 lakh hectares and is a major concern for farmers in the area.
Farmer suicide continues despite government announcing loan waivers
In 2016, 3,661 farmers of Maharashtra committed suicide, a fall from 4,291 in 2015. Across India, 11,370 farmers took their lives in 2016 and 12,602 in 2015. Maharashtra recorded the highest number of farmer suicides. In June 2017, CM Devendra Fadnavis announced loan waiver scheme benefiting 89L farmers and costing the state exchequer Rs. 34,022cr.