Reeling under debt burden of Rs 10 lakh, K’taka farmer and family kill themselves

The family left behind a note addressed to CM HD Kumaraswamy, stating that despite several efforts to get financial support, they were left in the lurch.
Reeling under debt burden of Rs 10 lakh, K’taka farmer and family kill themselves
Reeling under debt burden of Rs 10 lakh, K’taka farmer and family kill themselves
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In a tragic turn of events, a farmer from Mandya’s Sunkatannooru in Pandavapura taluk who was under severe financial stress along with his family members, ended their lives by consuming poison.

The family left behind a note addressed to Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, stating that despite several efforts to get financial support, they were left in the lurch.

At around 10am on Saturday, Krishne Gowda, a farm owner in Sunkatannooru, walked into his neighbour Naneesh’s farm to say hello.

A few meters outside Nandeesh’s house, he saw Nandeesh (35), his wife Komala (28) and their children Chandana (10) and Meena (13) lying on the ground.

“They were lifeless. I just stopped walking because I was so shocked. Their clothes were all in disarray. They looked like they struggled a lot and had collapsed,” Krishne Gowda says.

Shocked by the sight of finding his friend and his family dead, Krishne Gowda ran out of the farm and began telling everyone in the village that the family had committed suicide.

“I was so shocked. I just told everyone who were on the road. I also called the police and they came to the place where I found them,” he adds.

The Melukote Police arrived at the spot immediately. “We found evidence of what could be pesticide, which was consumed by the family members. We also found a death note address to Chief Minister Kumaraswamy. We cannot conclusively say that they consumed pesticide unless the lab reports come in,” the Melukote Police said.

Krishne Gowda says that Nandeesh owned 3 acres of land and had incurred debts running up to Rs 10 lakh from banks and local moneylenders.

“His sugarcane crops failed for three consecutive years and there was too much debt. He had been talking about how difficult it was to get one square meal too. This problem is faced by many people here but no one imagined the family would take such a drastic step,” Krishne Gowda added.

Investigating officers say that although the locals allege Nandeesh owned three acres of land and had incurred a debt of Rs 10 lakh, they are yet to source property documents and also obtain proof of money borrowed.

Lashing out at Chief Minister Kumaraswamy, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, BJP’s BS Yeddyurappa stated that Kumaraswamy had blatantly neglected the farmers in the state. 

“Karnataka's grim situation on the farm and people’s front reminds one of the saying "Nero was fiddling when Rome was burning". When farmers are dying in the state following their failures to sustain their life, our chief minister HD Kumaraswamy is roaming around the state visiting temples and attacking opposition BJP to suppress his failures. Whenever BJP and I criticized Chief Minister on his failure to govern the state and mitigate farmers and poor people’s sufferings, he came out with an alibi that BJP is trying to destabilise his government,” Yeddyurappa’s statement reads.

Stating that the death of four members of the family in Hassan was “proof that the farm loan waiver is a farce”, Yeddyurappa questioned Kumaraswamy on the legitimacy and the impact of the loan waiver.

“Today, I want to directly ask chief minister Kumaraswamy, who is responsible for the suicide of farmer Nandeesh, his wife Komala, and two children Chandana and Manu at Sunkatonnuur village of Pandavapur Taluk in Mandya district? Death of this farmer's family has proved that the farm loan waiver scheme announced by this government is a farce,” he said.

Yeddyurappa also alleged that 50 farmers have died across Karnataka since Kumaraswamy took oath as the CM. He accused Kumaraswamy of politicising the farm loan waiver issue instead of being genuinely concerned about farmers in the state. 

“Not me, even farmer Nandish who died today himself has revealed in his death note that he met and wrote to you twice seeking relief from his debts. Why you should not be charged of abetting the suicides? Whether your negligence will not amount to abetment? More than 18 districts are suffering due to scanty rains and farmers have lost their Kharif crops and no money to take up cultivation of Rabi crops. Survival of your government is not the need of the hour, what is needed is you respond and resolve the peoples and farmers’ problems. Give a pause to your political machinations and show concern for the poor and farmers,” Yeddyurappa added.

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