November 21, 2016
Thanjavur: A 55-year-old farmer near Pattukottai committed suicide by consuming sulphate tablets as samba crops failed and he was unable to clear debts.
Masilamani of Ponnavarayankottai village in Pattukottai taluk had raised samba crops in about 3.5 acres after taking the land, which had a bore-well facility, on lease from Selvaraj of the same village on condition that he would give 40 bags of paddy to the leaser. Masilamani had also borrowed Rs 20,000 from Selvaraj and more money from a few others, sources said.
Being a habitual drunkard, Masilamani did not maintain the land properly and the crops failed.
On Sunday morning, Masilamani was sitting inebriated in a tea shop when Selvaraj, who came that way, reprimanded him for his irresponsible behaviour and also demanded the money. Masilamani’s cousin Pandian who was present there also advised him, sources said.
Dejected, Masilamani consumed sulphate tablets that night. He was rushed to the government hospital in Pattukottai. As his condition became critical, he was referred to Thanjavur Medical College Hospital, but he died on the way to the hospital.
Masilamani is survived by his wife Padmavathi, two daughters and a son.
Based on a complaint by his daughter Sasikala, Pattukottai police have registered a case and further investigation is on.
Meanwhile, leaders of various farmers’ associations claimed that Masilamani committed suicide as his crops failed for want of water for irrigation.
PR Pandian, coordinator of the All Farmers’ Association, urged the government that Tamil Nadu should be declared as a drought-state. He also demanded that state government should take measures to prevent the incidents of suicide by farmers and that the state government should disburse Rs 10 lakh as compensation to the Masilamani’s family. A day-long fast will be held in Tiruvarur on December 5 pressing these demands, he said.
R Sugumaran, state vice president of Thamizhaga Vivasayigal Sangam, said that so far 12 farmers have died in the Cauvery delta region in the last two months and urged the state government to disburse Rs 25 lakh to the families of famers who have so far committed suicide, and distribute Rs 25,000 per acre to all the farmers whose crops had failed.