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Nature's fury and corrupt babus script farmer deaths.

Over adozen have ended their lives in the past two weeks

SIX farmers committed suicide in Bundelkhand of Uttar Pradesh over the past 48 hours following nature's fury and apathy of both central and state governments.

Moreover, lekhpals are demanding bribe for listing farmers as hit by rain and hail and upon refusal are mentioning wrong details that result in their receiving measly relief.

Over a dozen farmers have ended their lives in the past two weeks. Bhupendra Singh ( 22) of Akbarpura village in Jalaun district hanged himself from the ceiling of his house on Saturday night. He had eight bighas of land in which he had sown wheat and peas that was destroyed in the recent rain and hailstorm.

" My father started crying after seeing the destruction. He also refused to take dinner. We found him hanging late in the night," said his son Rahul.

Charan Singh ( 55) of Jalaun's Sirsakalar police station also hanged himself from the ceiling on Sunday morning.

Sirsakalar station house officer S. S. Dixit said: " His relatives said he was restless after his crops were destroyed. He had also taken loan from Allahabad Bank for his daughter's marriage and had hoped to return it this season." Extreme steps Narendra Kumar Singh ( 42) of Bhanti village in Banda district opted for the noose on Saturday.

Avinash Singh, his brother, said: He had taken a loan of ` 97,000 from Allahabad Bank in 2010.

But he couldn't repay it because of drought of last year and hailstorm this season." Sub- Divisional Magistrate Vinay Kumar Pathak said: " We will find bank loan details and take action against those who were harassing him." Narendra Singh ( 45) of Tola Soyam village in Mahoba district had consumed insecticide on Friday.

Prajapati ( 58) of Patha Vijaypura in Lalitpur district also ended his life on Friday. He had four acres of land and had taken a loan of 40,000 from a rural bank.

Kadore Parsadi ( 50) of Rajwara village in Lalitpur district who had three acres of land consumed poison and died before he could be taken to hospital.

Meanwhile, Siddh Dev ( 35) of Nanamau village in Banda district attempted self- immolation on Sunday afternoon.

He was admitted to a government hospital with 40 per cent burns.

His elder brother Ram Sharan ( 47) also sustained 20 per cent burn injuries in saving Dev.

" We had taken a land on a rent of ` 40,000 from a big farmer and spent ` 25,000 on sowing wheat that was destroyed by rain and hailstorm. Dev declared in the morning that he will commit suicide. We didn't take him seriously but saw him ablaze in the afternoon," said Sharan.

Devi Dayal ( 50) of Karela village of Mahoba district reportedly fell sick after seeing his damaged crops. He died on Saturday.

Two days ago, Balram Singh ( 52) of Atgaon village in Hamirpur district kept crying the whole night, suddenly fainted and failed to regain consciousness.

Bhagirath Sahu ( 70) of Kurra area in Hamirpur district reportedly died of shock after hearing that his crop was destroyed and officials were not ready to assess his loss immediately as they were waiting for instruction from Lucknow.

Led by Union Minister of State for Agriculture Sanjeev Baliyan, a team of officers visited Bundelkhand on Saturday to assess the situation. " The Centre will soon take a decision to bring them out of this problem," he said.

" The ground reality is horrible.

We have called a meeting of the insurance companies to ensure better help to the affected farmers," he added.

Last week, Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav had sanctioned ` 200 crore for relief work but only ` 2 crore has so far reached the farmers.

Actual situation The ground reality is murkier.

Vimal Kumar Sharma, president of Bundelkhand Kisan Union, said: " Lekhpals are demanding bribe from the farmers to list them as being affected by rain and hailstorm. Upon refusal to grease their palms, they mention wrong addresses and wrong account numbers. As a result, some farmers have got ` 750- 1,000 in relief. This is an insult." Bharatiya Kisan Sena leaders have demanded an aid of ` 20,000 per bigha of damaged crops.

Farmer Sankata Prasad Tripathi has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi mentioning the number of farmer deaths in the region.

He wrote: " It is not the time to do ' Mann ki Baat' but to listen to woes of farmers and provide them financial relief."

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Mar 23, 2015
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