Farmers threaten mass suicide

Farmers threaten mass suicide

The agricultural land belonging to about eight families has been identified for the construction of a 100-bed hospital. But the farmers have been fighting the decision for the past couple of years. On Monday, the police arrested the farmers who attempted to commit suicide and took them away to Koppal.

The women of these families had managed to prevent survey officers from installing stones to demarcate the land on Sunday. However, on Monday, officers managed to measure the land and plant signboards under police protection.

Farmers say that a court case has been pending since 2007 on protecting their irrigated land. But officers were still adamant on acquiring land that farmers had refused to part with, due to the pressure from a former legislator, they alleged. In 2008, Ramanagowda, a farmer, had even consumed poison in an attempt to kill himself and was hospitalised for two months.

Shekhamma Siddaramagowda alleged that officers had passed off irrigated land as barren and non-arable land. They added that the officers did not even have a government notification to acquire the land and offered to forego the land if it was produced.

However, officers refused to heed to their appeals and went ahead placing of signboards after the police arrested the protesting farmers.