Two farmers kill self in Nashik district

Malegaon: Two farmers committed suicide, apparently due to loan burden, in Malegaon tehsil in Nashik district on two consecutive days, police said today.

Manoj Sawant (25), a resident of Wake village, allegedly jumped into an agricultural pond yesterday, a police official said, adding that his body was later fished out.

He said Sawant’s family members told the police that he was worried over the piling dues as the water scarcity had severely affected his crop.

Another farmer, identified as Rakesh Shewale (24), hanged himself to a tree in his field in Nimbayati village this morning.

Police have registered two separate cases at the Malegaon taluka police station in this regard.

Meanwhile, addressing a rally in the city today, the Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly, Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil accused the BJP-Shiv Sena coalition government of being “insensitive” towards the plight of farmers in the state.

Vikhe Patil reiterated the Congress’ demand for a complete loan waiver for farmers.

He is part of the “Sangharsh Yatra” or a joint campaign being undertaken by the opposition Congress and NCP, which reached the city today.

State unit Congress president Ashok Chavan, senior NCP leader Ajit Pawar, Samajwadi Party’s Maharashtra unit president Abu Asim Azmi also raised the pitch for the loan waiver.

They alleged that incumbent Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis used to generate a hue and cry over the issues concerning farmers when he was in the opposition.

“Fadnavis used to demand filing of cases against the leaders of the erstwhile UPA government in the state for homicide over the suicides of farmers.

“However, after assuming power, Fadnavis is now turning a blind eye to the problems faced by the farmers,” the leaders said.

The Sangharsh Yatra will visit Shivadi village in Sinnar taluka of the district tomorrow, where the opposition leaders will interact with the farmers protesting against the government’s survey of their land for the proposed “Samruddhi Highway” infrastructure project, which aims to connect Nagpur to Mumbai.