A farmer in Bidar allegedly took his own life on Thursday, taking the total number of suicides in the district to four in July.
The recent suicides have taken place even though the Karnataka government announced a farm loan waiver scheme earlier this month in the first budget presented by the HD Kumaraswamy cabinet.
On Thursday, 50-year-old Balaji allegedly killed himself at his residence in Basavakalyan taluk in Bidar district. He had loans to pay off with Pragati Krishna Grameen Bank and with private moneylenders in his area. "We were called in yesterday (Thursday). This is the second farmer taking his own life this month in our police station limits. He owed Rs 50,000 to the PKG Bank and Rs 4 lakh to private moneylenders," said Veeranna, a police inspector at Basavakalyan Rural Police Station.
The death of Balaji is the fourth death of a farmer in Bidar district since the loan waiver scheme was announced on July 5. The other farmers who allegedly killed themselves this month includes Ramnath Shetty Mecare of Khashempur village in Aurad, Venkat of Niragudi village in Basavakalyan and Mallappa Madape, also from Basavakalyan.
Venkat, a 47-year-old farmer from Niragudi, allegedly killed himself on July 7. According to the police, he was facing loans to the tune of Rs 70,000 in State Bank of India and Rs 3 lakh in Corporation Bank. Police further added that the cases of suicides appeared to be linked to mounting debts of farmers. "In most cases the deaths appear to be linked to the lack of money to pay off loans. This was the first such death in 2018 and the families tell us that the victims were complaining about their loans and that in spite of the loan waiver being announced, were unsure when the money would reach them," added Veeranna.
The residents of Basavakalyan taluk are also up in arms as MLA B Narayan of the Congress, is currently away on tour in Rajasthan.
The loan waiver scheme was announced on July 5 by CM HD Kumaraswamy. The state government set aside Rs. 34,000 crore in the budget, however, the waiver of loans had conditions attached to it. Loans up to Rs 2 lakh per family will be waived and the waiver does not extend to loans taken from private moneylenders. waived.