Following successive crop loss and mounting debts, a farmer from Panaiyur village in Karur district consumed poison to end his life on Saturday.
The victim, K. Sanga Pillai (49), was disturbed after his banana crop failed last year and paddy crop suffered this year. Inadequate release of water in the Kattalai high-level canal that irrigates the entire south eastern Kulithalai region was not sufficient for the withering banana crop last year. Compounding Pillai’s misery, “blast attack,” a pest infestation, affected paddy crop raised on three acres of leased land this year.
Pillai took a loan of Rs. three lakh to tide over the crisis last year. When his paddy crop suffered, he borrowed Rs. two lakh.
“He was depressed following the crisis. Over the past 10 days, he was always heard talking about mounting dues and his inability to repay the loan,’’ his brother-in-law K. Nallathambi said.
Two days ago, Pillai went missing. He was soon found unconscious at Pettaivaithalai bazaar in neighbouring Tiruchi district after consuming poison. He was rushed to a government hospital and later shifted to a private hospital in Tiruchi where he died on Saturday. He is survived by wife, daughter and son.
According to Tiruchi district secretary of the Tamil Nadu Vivasyigal Sangam Ayilai Siva. Suriyan, inadequate water availability in the Cauvery coupled with anti-farmer policies of governments are forcing farmers to take extreme steps.
He urged Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to extend exgratia to Pillai’s family.