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Almost 1,200 Karnataka farmers commit suicide in last 15 months

Three districts in Karnataka Belagavi, Haveri, and Dharwad reported 122, 120, and 101 farmer suicides, respectively, accounting for the majority of these instances.

The Karnataka Revenue Department has revealed that as many as 1,182 Karnataka farmers died by suicide over the last 15 months, for which the cause has been cited as severe drought, crop loss, and overwhelming debt.

Three districts in Karnataka—Belagavi, Haveri, and Dharwad—reported 122, 120, and 101 farmer suicides, respectively, accounting for the majority of these instances. During the same year, there were 89 farmer suicides reported in Chikkamagalur, 69 in Kalaburgi, and 68 in Yadagiri.

Controversial Remarks on Compensation for Karnataka Farmers’ Suicides

Shivanand Patil, the Karnataka minister for sugarcane development and Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMC), stirred up controversy last September when he claimed that the state had seen a sharp rise in farmer suicides since the government had increased the compensation awarded to the deceased’s family to Rs 5 lakh.

Patil supported his claim by stating that the relatives of farmers who committed suicide as a consequence of financial hardship brought on by crop losses and their inability to repay loans had requested this compensation.

In response to Patil’s remarks, Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar declared that those who killed themselves ‘for their own reasons’ were not fit to be referred to as farmers.

Karnataka farmers
Image Source: m.rediff.com

“Where are the suicides? Tell me. People who commit suicide for their own reasons, can we call them farmers? It’s all false”, he said

Just six farmer suicide instances in single digits were reported out of the 27 districts in Karnataka where farmers chose the drastic measure due to varied reasons. Regretfully, there were at least 30 farmer suicide incidents in the remaining 21 districts. Both Chamarajanagar and Chikkaballapur have two farmer suicide instances reported.

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