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Maharashtra records most farmer suicides

Activists have criticised the NCRB for ‘manipulating’ the data to paint a ‘rosypicture’ on the agriculture front. File Photo: Vivek Bendre

Activists have criticised the NCRB for ‘manipulating’ the data to paint a ‘rosypicture’ on the agriculture front. File Photo: Vivek Bendre  

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Chhattisgarh records the fourth highest in the country.

With 2,568 farmers’ suicides during 2014, > Maharashtra recorded the highest number in the country, though activists pointed out that the number was far higher.

The data released on Friday by the National Crime Records Bureau also show that Chhattisgarh is among the top four States in farmers’ suicides.

According to the NCRB, Maharashtra recorded 578 fewer suicides than 2013, when 3,146 farmers ended their lives.

Activists, however, criticised the NCRB for “manipulating” the data to paint a “rosy picture”.

“They [the NCRB] have deliberately divided the suicides under different heads. The report says 4,004 agriculture-related suicides were recorded in Maharashtra during 2014 and then subtracts agricultural workers from the number and gives 2,568 as the total figure. But even with 2,568, Maharashtra tops the country, and for the first time, the government has admitted that the landless farmers are also dying,” said Kishor Tiwari, who runs Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, a farmers’ advocacy group.

“The total number of farmers’ suicides in Maharashtra should be 4,004, which is almost 1,000 more than the 2013 figure. It’s shameful if the government takes credit for 500-odd fewer suicides. The issue is getting complicated everyday in Maharashtra. Farmers are not getting proper prices for their produce, but input costs are rising. Maharashtra has recorded over 2,000 farmers’ suicide until June this year. Over 800 farmers have killed themselves in Vidarbha and over 600 farmers committed suicide in Marathwada,” Mr. Tiwari said.

Chattisgarh’s entry

According to the data, 443 farmers committed suicide in Chhattisgarh during 2014, making it the State with the fourth highest number after Maharashtra, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh. The State has rarely figured in the list of farm suicides earlier. State Agriculture Minister Brijmohan Agrwal, however, termed the NCRB data “misleading and based on a wrong analysis.”

“These numbers are wrong, and there are no such incidents in Chhattisgarh,” he told The Hindu.

He questioned the authenticity of the data and said: “I don’t know how they [the NCRB] issued it. As per our knowledge, there are no farmers’ suicides in the State.”

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Printable version | Apr 24, 2018 9:02:10 PM | http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/maharashtra-records-most-farmer-suicides-ncrb/article7438954.ece