Around 300 farmers in Bidar threatened to take their own lives, claiming they have not been paid crop insurance for the last two years.
The farmers gathered at the Gram Panchayat office in Kosam demanding the payment of crop insurance, which was supposed to be paid to them as part of the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, the Central government-sponsored crop insurance scheme.
"We had enrolled in 2016-17 in the scheme, but we have not received the payments. We have gathered today to bring this to the notice of officials who have so far ignored our pleas," says Manoj, a farmer protesting at the venue.
According to Bidar Lok Sabha member Bhagwanth Khuba, a total of 1.73 lakh farmers enrolled for the scheme and 1.21 lakh farmers benefited from it, and Rs 149.20 crore was spent in compensating farmers in 2016-17.
However, around 300 farmers from as many as 10 villages in Bidar district, including Kosam, Halihapparaga, Naguru, Aalibabad and Khasenpura, gathered in protest on Thursday morning, claiming that they had not received the compensation.
Police officials rushed to the scene of the protest on Thursday morning and made it clear to protestors that they should not commit suicide. The farmers, however, continued to protest amid police presence and claimed that they will end the protest only when their crop insurance is paid.
The threat comes amidst a slew of farmer suicides in the district due to mounting loans of farmers. Four farmers took their own lives in Bidar in July and police officials observed that in each case, large debts was one of the reasons for the suicide. The news came even as Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy announced a farm loan waiver scheme earlier in July.