Congress to book cases against TRS Govt for farmers suicides

Leader of Opposition in Telangana State Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir has accused the TRS Government of not taking any steps to handle a possible agrarian crisis in view of failed monsoon.

In a media statement issued on Friday, Shabbir Ali said that the hopes of a good monsoon and crop have almost vanished and the total sowing area in the State has come down by about 35% for the third consecutive season. The crop failure in the last two seasons was followed by a spate of suicides by farmers. In order to avoid a similar situation this season, the State Government must come forward and give an assurance to farmers that it would help them in time of distress. Else, he warned that the Congress party will register FIRs against the TRS Government if any farmer commits suicide anywhere in the State.

“We will lodge complaints under Criminal Negligence, Abetment for Suicide and other relevant sections if any farmer kills self for farming related reason. By remaining insensitive to the needs of farming community, TRS Government has been resorting to mass murder of farmers in the State,” Shabbir Ali said in his statement.

Shabbir Ali said while KCR wants to spend Rs. 25,000 crore on his new publicity stunt called “Grama Jyothi”, he had no money to clear the dues of crop loan waiver scheme.

The Congress leader accused KCR of committing crimes against the farming community on multiple counts. “He divided the payment towards crop loan waiver scheme into four instalment thus depriving the farmers of fresh loans for four years; Did not extend any benefit to the families of those who committed suicide; Did not declare ‘drought hit’ mandals; Failed to get any assistance from the Centre; Discouraged farmers from growing paddy in last Rabi season to fake that he resolved power crisis and kept farmers deprived of benefits of crop insurance,” he said.

Shabbir Ali said there is a pattern, pointing towards a larger conspiracy, in KCR’s actions against the farming community. More than 55% of the 55.54 lakh farmers in Telangana are small and marginal farmers and another 26 per cent are semi-medium farmers. Most of them depend on banks for their credit needs and by delaying payments, KCR is apparently forcing them to give up cultivation and surrender their lands. “Due to the wrong policies, the average sowing area in Telangana has reduced by over 35% in last three seasons. During this Khariff, as against the season normal area of 4143302 hectares, the total area sown, as on July 29, is 2697469 or just 65%,” he said.

“KCR is directly responsible for the suicide of 1,039 farmers since the formation of Telangana. If KCR is not willing to accept these figures, he should at least accept the statistics compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau which placed Telangana, with 898 suicides (including 147 women – highest in the country), at the second place in farmers’ suicide across the country. As many as 146 farmers in Telangana committed suicides due to ‘Bankruptcy or Indebtedness caused by Crop Loan’ during 2014. Of 898, as many as 366 were small, 129 were marginal and 377 were medium farmers. Of 140 who committed suicide across the country due to poverty, 112 farmers, including eight women, are from Telangana.

While appealing the farmers not to resort to any extreme step, Shabbir Ali said KCR and his government should be ready to face criminal cases if a single case of suicide by farmer is reported in the State. (INN)