‘DCRB and govt’s figures on farmer suicides different’
HYDERABAD: Drought-hit Kurnool has reported 69 in 2018 according to District Crime Records Bureau and 63 in 2017 indicating the agrarian distress in Rayalaseema. However, families of only two such farmer got ex-gratia benefits in 2018. In 2017, 18 such families got ex-gratia benefits.
A reply by Kurnool to an RTI filed by activist B Kondala Reddy of Rythu Swarajya Vedika revealed huge discrepancies between the figures of the police department and those given by the agriculture wing of the government. While official figures of the agriculture department show that entire state had 400 suicides since the government came to power in July 2014, farmer activists said that the number of suicides is at least 1,628 for the same period. Farmers associations have alleged that the state is brushing aside tenant farmer suicides stating that they don’t have loan eligibility cards.
Most of the tenant farmers are not on-record farmers Speaking to TOI, activist B Kondala Reddy said: “Government is counting the suicides only after giving Rs 5 lakh compensation to the farmers based on verification of a three-member committee which includes the mandal revenue officer, a sub-inspector and an agriculture officer. The committee report has to be sent to the divisional committee. The committee asks for a loan eligibility card for tenant farmers. If, for example, a farmer committs suicide but the land is on his father’s name, the committee rejects it. They are even rejecting genuine cases by terming them as marital disputes.”
A government order, GO 62, issued on February 19, 2015, says that in case a farmer committs suicide, an ex-gratia of Rs 3.5 lakh and loan settlement of Rs 1.5 lakh will be given to the family members of the deceased farmers. For rehabilitation, the children shall be admitted in social welfare school and hostels while the family is to be allotted a house under the Indira Awaas Yojana scheme. Economic support under government schemes and pensions to be given, says the order. “The figures given by district crime records bureaus do not match with that of the government. Government is not acknowledging the scale of the agrarian crisis in Andhra which is acute. One of the reflections of the agrarian crisis is farmers taking their lives,” V S Krishna of Human Rights Forum told TOI. He added the government is not implementing GO-62 properly.
farmer suicides DCRB “GO 62 not only speaks about compensation but also about rehabilitation. They forget about rehabilitation The divisional committee is not processing it in a diligent manner. Most times government officials don’t even visit the villages,” Krishna said.