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Farmer suicides: No aid paid as per GO 43 to families of victims, says HRF fact-finding team

TIRUPATI: The Human Rights Forum (HRF) and Rythu Swarajya Vedika (RSV) have demanded that the AP government stop peddling lies in the matter of giving financial aid to the families of farmers who have committed suicide, but extend them financial rehabilitation as envisaged under the Government Order (GO) 43 without any further delay.

On August 1, a three-member HRF and RSV fact-finding team visited eight families of farmers, who committed suicide in the revenue divisions of KVB Puram, Nindra, Vijayapuram, Karvetinagaram and Puttur mandals in Tirupati district to ascertain the reasons for their suicide and the State government action and response thereafter.

The team during its visit was shocked to find that only one farmer’s family received the rehabilitation package of `7 lakh and the remaining seven other families were left high and dry by the government. The team alleged that the seven families have not been extended the financial support as envisaged under GO 43 though they are eligible. These farmers mainly raised paddy, maize, corn and groundnut with major reliance on the groundwater source.

“Lack of access to reliable and reasonably priced inputs and remunerative prices for their output and the appalling state of institutional credit leading to excessive reliance on private moneylenders resulting in high indebtedness pushed these farmers to commit suicide,” the team said.

The Chief Minister’s assertion that the families of all those farmers who owned land and had relevant proof were being financially compensated as per the GO 43 does not match with reality on the ground, the HRF alleged, adding, “All the seven farmers, who had committed suicide, had proof of land ownership recorded in the pattadar passbook.

The forum members said it is shocking that the RDO-headed three-member verification and certification committee had not visited even a single family of the seven farmers’ families to determine facts as mandated under GO 43.

It further called this manner of negligence pathetic and defeats the very purpose of GO 43. They said the families of these farmers are in a state of acute deprivation with all of them being under regular and persistent pressure from moneylenders, who gave them the money. It suggested the government ensure that all the cases of reported farmer suicides are inquired into the earliest and justice is rendered to them.