RTI reveals over 150 farmers committed suicide in Gujarat in four years
The reply to an application filed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act has revealed high instances of suicides by farmers in Gujarat because of crop failures.
The reply to the application shows that during the period from June 2008 to August 2012, 112 farmers committed suicide in the state. After August 2012, 40 more cases of farmer’s suicide were reported. The reply had also cited reasons for such high number of farmers’ suicides which included crop failure and pressure from financial institutions for the repayment of loans. Police investigation reports also agree with the given details.
Citing the reply given to the RTI query, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Gujarat High Court by Bharatsinh Zala, a member of the NGO, Citizens for Resource And Action Initiative. The petition calls for issuing directions to the government to take steps like waiving the loans given by nationalized banks to prevent farmers’ suicides. The PIL also seeks a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh from the government to the families of each victim and it also demands irrigation facilities and insurance for farmers in cases of crop failure.
As the high court is on summer vacation, the PIL is likely to be heard only after it reopens.