Bhopal: The farmers' suicides continued unabated in Madhya Pradesh on Wednesday with one more peasant ending his life in Dhar district, prompting the Congress to claim a 40-plus toll in the BJP-ruled state this month.
Madanlal, 45, died after allegedly consuming poison at his farm in Badi Chho village in Dhar district, around 270 km from the state capital, the police said.
"He was a Kotwar (village watchman) under the revenue department. The exact reason for the death would be known after post-mortem. He had possibly consumed some poisonous substance," said Superintendent of Police (SP) Virendra Singh.
Madanlal's son Manoj, however, said his father was forced to take the extreme step because he was reeling under debt. He had taken loans from a bank and private lenders which he was unable to repay, Manoj said.
This is the second farmer suicide in Dhar district in the past three days.
Fourty six-year-old Bilam Singh had hanged himself to death from the ceiling of his house at Chumpia village on Monday. The family members had claimed he was finding himself unable to repay a loan taken from a cooperative society.
The police, however, had claimed Singh drank liquor and his wife had left him due to his ill temperament.
"The reason behind the suicide would be known after investigation," the SP had said.
Elsewhere in the state, a farmer ended his life on Tuesday morning in Balaghat, the home district of Agriculture Minister Gaurishankar Bisen.
Dhalchand Lilhare, 42, too had consumed some poison at Jagpur village, the police had said.
"Lilhare's son Vikas said in his statement that his father had taken a loan of Rs 2.78 lakh from a bank and Rs 59,000 from a cooperative society. He said Lilhare was under stress due to the debt," Bharveli police station in-charge Vijay Vishwakarma said.
Leader of Opposition Ajay Singh claimed that more than 40 farmers have committed suicide since beginning of the month.
"More than 40 farmers have ended their lives but the state government continues to display insensitivity towards farmers' issues by holding various programmes, distributing laptops and making a bid to set a tree plantation record," the Congress leader said.
Since June 8, farmer suicides have been reported from Sehore, Hoshangabad, Raisen, Dhar, Neemuch, Chhatarpur, Sagar, Tikamgarh and Vidisha districts. Sehore, the home district of Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, has reported six suicides.
In the first fortnight of June, western Madhya Pradesh witnessed a major farmers' agitation for loan waiver and remunerative prices, which was fuelled further by the death of five persons in police firing in Mandsaur district on 6 June.
Updated Date: Jun 28, 2017 20:59:02 IST