A 42-year-old farmer allegedly committed suicide on May 3 after he failed to repay the farm loan he had borrowed from a credit society in Madhya Pradesh's Burhanpur district, his brother claimed today.
The Madhya Pradesh government has ordered a probe into the incident. However, the police is yet to issue a statement.
Sitaram, the brother of deceased Karkund, also claimed that the farmer had put his 17-year-old son as a "kamdar" with a camel rearer in Patoda village in the district to borrow Rs 2.5 lakh for settle the debt.
"The (credit) society had recently served Karkund a notice asking him to repay the loan along with the accrued interest amounting to Rs 1.5 lakh. However, as he was unable to pay it, he killed himself by consuming a poisonous substance on May 3," Sitaram claimed.
Karkund tore the notice in front of his family members and asked them to deal with it, before killing himself, he said.
Kamdari is a system wherein needy farmers keep a family member as "security" for borrowing money from a well-off farmer for a certain period of time.
Madhya Pradesh Women and Child Development Minister Archana Chitnis said Karkund had dues of Rs 90,000, which were reduced to Rs 34,000 under the chief minister's loan adjustment scheme.
Chitnis, who reached Patoda village soon after the incident came to light, assured that the dues of Rs 34,000, too, would be paid soon from the "minister's fund and through cooperation of the people".
She directed Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) Sohan Kanash to provide relief to the family of the farmer under various government schemes.
Karkund's 17-year-old son is still working with the camel rearer. He is with the rearer since the last one year.
Leader of Opposition in Madhya Pradesh Assembly Ajay Singh said, "A farmer was forced to commit suicide and mortgage his son for repaying the loan. What happened to the claims about the higher agriculture growth rate; providing farm loans at zero per cent interest rate?...Everything is hollow and an attempt to gain publicity".
He also demanded a compensation of Rs 10 lakh from the state government for the victim's family so that they can "free" their son.
State unit Congress president Kamal Nath said incidents like suicides by farmers are taking place on a daily basis, but very few of them are reported.