No reply from Maharashtra government on farmer suicides
By Express News Service - NEW DELHI
03rd September 2012 09:25 AM
The Maharashtra Government is yet to respond to a notice issued by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) over two cases of farmer suicide in Yavatmal district of the state, despite several reminders from the apex body.
Initially, the NHRC issued notice to the District Magistrate of Yavatmal over the alleged suicide of Gajanan Kale of Nanduara village.
It also sought an action taken report (ATR) from the Chief Secretary, Government of Maharashtra, over the alleged suicide of Mahadeo Chauhan of Khopari village.
The human rights panel was moved by advocate Radhakanta Tripathy seeking a probe into both the suicides, which occurred in January.
In his separate petitions, Tripathy alleged that both Kale and Chauhan committed suicide in the last week of January after the government stopped compensating the farmers in the Vidarbha’s cotton belt, which is already reeling under crisis.
According to data compiled by the Cotton Corporation of India, Maharashtra has the second lowest yield at 355 kg per hectare. That works to about 1.50 quintal per acre. A minimum yield of five to six quintal per acre is needed for the farmers to make a decent profit. But that does not happen due to lack of irrigation facilities, Radhakanta submitted.
The only solution is to increase the minimum support price as the current market trends have indicated that bearish mood would have to wait. The state should take a farmer-friendly stand to ensure the basic human rights of farmers, the petitioner contended.
He urged the NHRC to recommend to the state government a mechanism so that the peasants could get out of the debt burden and sell their produce at remunerative prices.
He also sought a direction from the rights panel to the state government to directly assist the farmers, who are debt-ridden and unable to sell their produce at remunerative prices, and compensate the family members of the deceased.
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