2 Maharashtra farmers end lives

Barely a week after Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar toured the flood-ravaged Vidarbha region, two heavily indebted farmers killed themselves on Saturday, taking the total number of farmer suicides in north-east Maharashtra to 62 this monsoon.

Landless labourer Thavru Rathod, tilling land that was taken on lease, killed himself in the village Kinhala.

In Salod village, Shriram Talmale, another farmer, also committed suicide. Both were in debt, with their fields severely damaged by rain.

Postmortems on Sunday revealed that they had consumed pesticide; ironically, the families of these deceased agriculturists will not be eligible for compensation since the land the farmers were cultivating was not under their name.

Talking to Deccan Herald from Nagpur over the phone, farmland activist Kishore Tiwari said: “In Vidarbha, one in three farmers till land taken on lease. The recent suicides indicate a deeper malaise ravaging not just Vidarbha but the entire country, and despite this being an open social reality, the government has refused to take cognisance.”

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