Maha: Another farmer kills self, fifth in three days

Osmanabad: One more farmer has allegedly committed suicide in Maharashtra apparently due to indebtedness, taking the number of peasants who have killed themselves in the recent past to five.

Sandip Shelke (25), who had participated in the recent stir by cultivators for various demands, allegedly hanged himself from a tree in his field in Kahamaswadi village here today, police said.

Shelke’s cousin said he took the extreme step due to his inability to pay Rs 2.5 lakh loan he had taken from a bank as his crop has suffered damage due to drought.

However, a police official said the exact cause behind Shelke’s suicide is not known immediately.

Following the incident, angry farmers set afire to an effigy of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis in the village while demanding a loan waiver.

The villagers have declared a bandh in Kalamb tehsil tomorrow in protest against the incident.

Farmers in the state have been demanding a complete loan waiver besides clearing their 7/12 extracts (land records) of all liabilities and a guaranteed rate for milk among other demands.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, four farmers ended their lives in various parts of the state.

Police had said suicides by all the four farmers were due to non-payment of loans from banks and private money lenders.

Dhanaji Jadhav (45) hanged himself from a tree near his house at Veet village in Karmala tehsil in Solapur district Wednesday night. He had left a note purportedly stating that he should not be cremated till the chief minister visits his place and meets their demands.

However, the family members of the deceased relented following an intervention by the district guardian minister.

In another incident, a 48-year-old farmer, Hanumant Shinde, reeling under debt, committed suicide by consuming poison at Gondavewadi in Pune district yesterday.

In Wardha district, farmer Ishwar Baliram Ingale (55) allegedly committed suicide by hanging from a tree in his farm on Wednesday, the police said.

In Satara district of western Maharashtra, a 35-year-old farmer, Suresh Sable, ended his life by consuming poison on June 5 in Man tehsil.

Fadnavis had recently announced waiving of loans of small and marginal farmers. However, the announcement failed to pacify the protesting farmers who are demanding a complete loan waiver.