Farmers refute TN govt claim on suicides

Farmers refute TN govt claim on suicides

The Tamil Nadu government has found itself in a bind in the Cauvery delta farmers’ suicide as rights organisations have contested its claims about the number of farmers who have ended their lives in the region and the reasons that drove them to death.

While the government has officially acknowledged only nine suicides in the 2012-13 agriculture season in the Cauvery delta areas, the Federation of Tamil Nadu Agriculturists Associations on Friday claimed that 19 of their fraternity members have taken their lives.

The government claims, including in a recent affidavit in the Madras High Court, that “recent deaths” of farmers in the delta areas was not due to withering away of their paddy crops and attendant losses, but “due to a variety of reasons from old age, family problems to accidents,” has also been disputed by the organisation.

This was “shocking” to say the least, when at least 19 farmers had been “desperately driven to suicide due to crop losses” in the Cauvery delta, said federation spokesman S Nallasamy. This is also in the backdrop of a failed monsoon and the insufficient flow of water in the river.

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