Bhubaneswar: The State Legislative Assembly saw pandemonium over farmer suicide on Saturday after Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy stated that the five farmer suicides were not over crop related issues.
The agriculture minister discussed reports of four of the five suicide cases. The joint report of these cases were prepared by district collectors and SPs. The minister stated that none of the suicides were committed over crop related issues. He said that Ganjam’s T Bulu Reddy, Nabarangpur’s Sibaprasad Bhatra, Bargarh’s Hadu Bagarti, Balasore’s Sudam Khatua had not died for crop loans or any farming issue.
Maharathy also claimed that farmer deaths are common in all parts of the country and as per 2015 National Crime Records Bureau 1,33,623 people had committed suicide of which 12,602 were farmers. In Odisha in 2015, 4,087 people had committed suicide of which only 50 were farmers, he stated.
The leaders of BJP and Congress protested over the minister’s statements and wore black gowns as a sign of protest. The House had to be adjourned several times over the issue.