Five Andhra Pradesh farmers end life

The Andhra Pradesh government, however, is neither denying nor confirming the “suicides at this stage” even as official teams have been asked to verify the facts following media reports.

Referring to the reports, Agriculture Minister N Raghuveera Reddy said: “I am not denying it.

But, unless I get a confirmation its difficult to comment. One thing I can tell you, the (drought-like) situation is very bad and severe. No second opinion on it.”

Every suicide committed by farmers and reported either through media or complaints is looked into by a committee comprising Sub-Collectors / RDO, ASP / DSP and Assistant Director Agriculture, who visits such places to verify the incident, he said.

If it is found that the suicide is farm-related, then the government immediately provides Rs 1.5 lakh relief package to the farmer’s kin, the Agriculture Minister said. With regard to the recent reports on farmers suicide, “unless I get confirmation, we cannot attribute it to drought-like situation,” Reddy said.

The government, he said, is taking suitable measures to tackle the situation. “Whatever is required in the form of alternative seeds, employment generation and relief measures are underway on war-footing,” Reddy added.

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