Debts: Farmer poisons 5 of his family, hangs self

Debts: Farmer poisons 5 of his family, hangs self

Shekaraiah Bidnal

A debt-ridden farmer from Metgal in Koppal district poisoned five members of his family before hanging himself on Saturday.

The deceased are Shekaraiah Bidnal (48), his wife Jayamma (41), daughters Basamma (23), Gowramma (22), Savithri (20) and Parvathi (15).

Superintendent of Police Renuka Sukumar confirmed that Shekaraiah had hanged himself while his wife and daughters were poisoned. Sources said the farmer, who owns three acres of dryland, had taken loans to the tune of Rs 5 lakh from various sources for agricultural and personal reasons.

Upset over the mounting debts and wilting crop, Shekaraiah and his family members took the drastic step, sources added.

Agriculture Minister N H Shivashankar Reddy, who was en route to Sindhanur, rushed to the village and consoled Shekaraiah’s relatives. “I am pained by the incident. Farmers should not take such drastic steps. The government is committed to waiving farm loans. The farmers should have patience,” Reddy said.

At Raichur Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said that the incident occurred due to conflict among siblings over the land distribution. “For a while, the electronic media attributed it to heavy debts,” he said.

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