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2 farmers commit suicide in Odisha

Cuttack: Two more cases of alleged suicide by farmers in Odisha have come to light even as the state human rights commission (OHRC) today asked the government to prepare a plan of action to address the issue.

Officials at SCB Medical College and Hospital here said that Shankar Behera (45) of Athgarh and Laxmidhar Bhatta (48), who had been under treatment for consuming pesticide, died during the day.

The family of Behera of Mahalaxmipur claimed he had taken a farm loan of Rs 1 lakh.

Officials said that distressed over the damage to his crops due to drought, he consumed poison in the fields in the morning.

Behera was initially taken to a local hospital, but was later shifted to the Cuttack hospital when his condition deteriorated. He died there in the evening, they added.

Talking about the second death, they said that Bhatta, of Ranapur block, had drunk pesticide on October 28. He was treated at a local hospital for two days and thereafter discharged, the officials said. But he developed complications yesterday evening and was taken to SCB Medical College and Hospital, where he succumbed in the morning.

More than 40 farmers have committed suicide in the drought -hit areas of the state in the past two months reportedly due to debts they owed following crop loss.

Taking a serious view of the spurt in farmers’ suicides in the state, Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today asked the government to have a plan of action to prevent recurrence of such cases.