Seven more Vidarbha farmers commit suicide in last 48 hours

September 8th, 2011 - 6:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Sep 8 (IANS) With seven cotton growers committing suicide in the past two days, a total 514 farmers have so far killed themselves in 2011 alone in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, an NGO fighting for farmers’ rights said Thursday.

The dead were identified as Samrat Palaspagar from Palso, Ramkrishna Navalkar from Aalanda and Madhukar Shinde from Khadla (all in Akola district), Shivaji Kale from Kherdi in Washim district, Bandu Pinge from Adegoan and Aabaji Kale from Ganeshpur (both in Yavatmal district) and Shankar Botbhole from Muradgoan in Wardha district.

“They (farmers) have been demanding a hike in minimum support price (MSP) of cotton to Rs.6,000 per quintal as against the (current) Rs.3,300,” said Kishor Tiwari of Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti (VJAS).

Last week, five cotton farmers had committed suicide owing to the agrarian crisis in the region. As many as 51 farmers committed suicide during the month of August alone.

Farmers have also been demanding lifting of the ban on cotton export.

“We demand a hike in cotton MSP and urgent food relief, fresh crop loan disbursement and healthcare services,” Tiwari said.

Tiwari’s VJAS has been documenting Vidarbha farm suicides since 1997.

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