NHRC Directs Odisha Govt To Take Steps Over Farmer’s Suicide

BHUBANESWAR: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Odisha chief secretary to take appropriate steps to eight weeks over a farmer’s suicide in the state.

Acting on a petition filed by rights campaigner Subash Mohapatra, the rights panel transmitted the petition for such action as deemed appropriate.

Mohapatra had stated in his petition that a farmer committed suicide at Chhuriapali village under Sohela block in Bargarh (Odisha) district on March 9 this year allegedly due to crop failure.

The farmer’s body was found hanging from a tree near his field.  The deceased was identified AS Khusiram Pradhan (25), who had invested more than Rs 2 lakh in farming, but the unseasonal rain had destroyed everything, he added.

Meanwhile, police seized a handwritten suicide note from the spot and started an investigation. Pradhan had grown paddy on two acres of land and pulses in one acre. The crops were in good condition and were expected to give a bumper harvest. However, heavy rains accompanied by a hailstorm on February 26 damaged the standing crops.

“The suicide note exposes that he was in debt from local cooperative societies and the functioning of local money lending with higher interests, which leads to exploitation of the farmers. The non-regulation of micro-finance companies in the area has added the opportunities of harassment and state’s denial”. Mohapatra alleged.

The petitioner has urged the commission to direct the state government for conducting a judicial probe of the case.