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Farmers and the Congress workers today staged protests against the central and state governments following alleged suicide by a debt-ridden farmer at Berinag in Pithoragarh district.
The workers of the Opposition party, led by PCC chief Pritam Singh, marched from the Congress office in Dehradun to Ashtley hall shouting slogans against the central and state governments and accusing them of being insensitive to the problems being faced by farmers.
They also burnt the effigies of the governments.
The PCC president reminded Prime Minister Narendra Modi of his pre-poll promise of farmers getting a loan waiver and interest free loans, if the BJP was voted to power.
Accusing him of reneging on his promise, Singh said the party will fight for farmers both in the legislature and the streets.
Similar protests broke out in Berinag block of Pithoragarh district, where a farmer allegedly committing suicide yesterday after receiving a notice from a bank for non repayment of his loans.
The protesters in Berinag and Lohaghat came on roads and demanded that all loans taken by farmers in the region be waived off as their crops have been damaged first by draughts and then by rains.
"The farmers in the hill region of the state are not in a position to repay agricultural loans," Block Pramukh in Berinag block, Rekha Bhandari said.
A magisterial probe has been ordered into the farmer's death but his wife said he took the extreme step as he had received bank notices but was unable to repay a loan of Rs 50,000 taken about six months ago from the Gramin Bank.
The farmer, Surendra Singh, a resident of Purana Thal village of Pithoragarh district, was declared brought dead by doctors when he was brought to Thal hospital after he consumed some poisonous substances at his home near the village.
Pithoragarh district magistrate C Ravi Shankar said that Berinag SDM Vivek Prakash will conduct the inquiry to find if he had committed suicide due to bank loans and whether his crops have been covered under Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima yojana or not.
While an official at Gramin bank confirmed notices being issued to farmers on payments of loans, Pithoragarh district magistrate said that the subject of incapability to repay loans will also be inquired.