There has been a seven-fold increase in the number of cases of farmer suicides in Karnataka since last year. The State has seen over 400 farmer suicides between January 1 to August 31 this year.
The Times of India reported that Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, in a meeting with regional commissioners, deputy commissioners of districts and chief executive officers of zilla panchayats in Bengaluru on Tuesday, expressed concern over the farmer suicides and urged the officials to do everything to check the issue.
Karnataka has had a history of farmer suicides. In 2014-15 the number of suicides was 48, and in 2013-14 it was 58. However, it was between December 1997 and Juner 1998 when a 400 farmers killed themselves, after which a review and fresh implementation of schemes were announced in the state budget.
According to the TOI, he said that in most cases, preliminary investigation conducted by police revealed that arm-twisting by middlemen and moneylenders led to the tragedies. The chief minister asked officials to check on moneylenders and take action as soon as they come across such incidents.