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  Metros   Mumbai  16 Oct 2017  RTI finds discrepancies in farmer suicide figures

RTI finds discrepancies in farmer suicide figures

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Oct 16, 2017, 12:59 am IST
Updated : Oct 16, 2017, 12:59 am IST

The data also raises questions, as a number of suicides were more due to family problems and alcoholism than debt.

(Representational image)
 (Representational image)

Mumbai: A Right to Information (RTI) query has revealed serious discrepancies in figures of farmer suicides in Yavatmal and Osmanabad districts.

The data also raises questions, as a number of suicides were more due to family problems and alcoholism than debt. The state government had chosen the two districts under a pilot project to reduce farmer suicides there.

The data obtained from Yavatmal Collector’s Office by RTI activist Jeetendra Ghadge showed that 336 cases of suicide were registered in 2016. However, the same year’s police data has showed the police registered 646 cases of suicide. Similarly in neighbouring Osmanabad district, while police officials said 354 suicides were reported in 2016, only 161 suicides were reported by the Osmanabad Collector’s Office. Also, only 108 farmers’ families have received the government compensation of `1 lakh so far.

When The Asian Age tried to call agriculture minister Pandurang Phundkar over the issue, he did not reply. An official from the agriculture department said the figures need to be checked before commenting on them. He also said some suicides might have become ineligible for compensation after verification, as it is given only for debt related suicides.

Mr Gadge said, “There seems to be a deliberate attempt to mislead when it comes to giving the correct reason of suicide. For example the Yavatmal police in 2016 has reported 249 suicide case due to ‘other reasons.’ In 2014 only 13 farmers committed suicides due to debt and a whopping 281 due to ‘family problems’”

Agriculture activist Vijay Javandhia said, “Sometimes the 7/12 (farmland record) is not in the farmer’s name and he is not considered as a farmer. Due to this technical problem, many women are also not considered as farmers.”

Tags: right to information (rti), farmer suicides