Mamata rejects probe into farmer suicides

January 25th, 2012 - 12:42 am ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Kolkata, Jan 24 (IANS) Terming the reports of farmers’ suicides incorrect, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday rejected a proposal of a probe by an all-party team into the matter.

Communist Party of India (CPI) legislator from Midnapore Prabodh Panda who met Banerjee at the secretariat with his proposal, said she had rejected his proposal as the reports of suicide were “untrue”.

“Banerjee said that after inquiring the matter she found them untrue, and when there is no truth in it, where is the need then for sending such a team?” Panda said after the meeting.

Panda said that the delegation tried to reason with her about the need for a probe. “We told her it should be ascertained whether such suicides were due to the distress sale of paddy and other agricultural produce by the farmers in different parts of the state”.

The delegation also submitted a nine-point memorandum to Banerjee and requested her to provide an economic package to the affected farmers and waive their agricultural debts.

The team also urged Banerjee to compensate the families of the peasants who reportedly have committed suicide.

Banerjee had rubbished the reports of farmers’ suicides and blamed the media and the opposition for distorting facts.

“I do not want farmers to commit suicide. They (the opposition and media) are saying that many farmers have committed suicide. This is not right. Only one peasant took his own life during my tenure,” she had said Monday.

While in a stark contrast to Banerjee’s comments, Governor M.K. Narayanan had admitted the same day that “farmers’ suicides were taking place and some of the peasants were debt ridden”.

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