Tuesday, April 29, 2008

‘Farmer’s death exposes state’s failure’

BHUBANESWAR, April. 28:The suicide of Kashinath Bhunya, a farmer of Balipatna block in Khurda district has exposed the failure of the government which claims to have doubled rural credit alleged a Citizens Committee in its fact finding report.
Kashinath committed suicide as he had failed to get loan from the cooperative despite having made several requests. His Kissan Credit Card was of no use, said the fact finding team while releasing their report at a Press conference here today.
He committed suicide because of non availability of agricultural credit from the Nishintapur agricultural credit cooperative society, the committee charged while dismissing claims of the government that the farmer had not been able to provide relevant documents alongwith his application for loan.
It may be noted that Kashinath had died on 23 April. The suicide had caused a furore as it had taken place close to the state capital and not in some remote part of western Orissa where reports of debt burdened farmers had been reported earlier.
On 22 April Kashnath made his last desperate attempt to obtain the loan by going to the secretary of the cooperative. He returned from the secretary’s house and consumed pesticides.
He needed the loan to sustain his vegetable crops and had already taken hand loan from fellow villagers. Not only Kashinath , farmers in general at Balipatna are facing the same plight, said the Citizen’s Committee report.
Shockingly, the local police did not accept the FIR of Nityananda, son of Kashinath, the report alleged.
The irony is that a KCC was issued to Kashinath on 14 March 2008, a month before he died.
The fact is that Kashinath was already in a debt trap since he had obtained hand loan and mortgaged his agricultural land. His only hope of overcoming the crisis was the cooperative loan. He perhaps intended to free his mortgaged land by repaying the hand loan which he had reportedly taken at a high rate of interest, said the committee.
The committee demanded immediate action against the secretary of the cooperative who failed to sanction loan to Kashinath, a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the bereaved family, assessment of the agricultural credit societies in the state. Mr Natabar Sarangi, Mr Prafulla Samantara, Mr Mahendra Parida, Mr P Paikray and Mr S Pattnaik were the members of the fact finding committee.

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