‘Crop loss’ triggers farmer suicide

A 25-year-old farmer has committed suicide allegedly because of crop loss at Belbahali in Bargarh district. The death of the farmer, Keshab Chhatar, on Wednesday night came within a week of a similar incident at another village in the same district.

Villagers said Keshab was spotted in a critical condition after he consumed pesticide late on Wednesday. He was taken to the district headquarters hospital in Bargarh town but died during treatment.

“Heavy crop loss was the cause of his suicide. He had taken loans to the tune of Rs 25,000 from various sources. He had been depressed over the past few days as he was worried about the debt burden. Unable to find an alternative, he took this extreme step to end his misery,” said former Belbahali sarpanch Prafulla Nayak. He owned 2.5 acres of cultivated land in the village, Nayak added.

Villagers said the deceased was the sole breadwinner of his family comprising his 60-year-old widowed mother and a brother. “My other son has been ailing for a long time and Keshab was the only source of income. Now I do not know how to run the family without him,” said Keshab’s mother Bati Chhatar.

Bargarh collector Bhabagrahi Mishra confirmed the incident and said he has directed Sadar tehsildar to submit a report immediately. “Action will be initiated once the report is submitted to me,” the collector added.

Meanwhile, police have registered an unnatural death case and handed over the body to the family after autopsy.

On December 9, a debt-ridden farmer, Dasharathi Barik (35), had committed suicide by hanging from a tree at Sirigida village in Bargarh’s Sohela police station area.

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