Faced with massive debts and huge losses, three chilli farmers attempted suicide by consuming pesticide, outside the Nunna police station in Vijayawada on Wednesday.
Following the suicide attempt, the farmers, identified as Vadderapu Tirupati Rao, Banala Purnaiah and Gogonu Ramaiah, were rushed to the Government General Hospital (GGH) in the city.
Members from the YSR Congress, the CPI(M), the Congress party, and the AP Koulu Rythu Sangham visited the farmers in the hospital. Krishna district joint collector Vijaya Krishnan also paid a visit.
According to reports, the farmers decided to meet Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu at the Legislative Assembly to narrate their woes, with nearly 40 chilli farmers from Gamapalagudem participating in a 'Chalo Assembly' protest.
However, the police foiled the protest and detained several farmers, before shifting them to the Nunna police station.
Quoting sources, The Hindu reported that 216 farmers had sowed chilli crop in 350 acres in Gampalagudem mandal in 2015, but the crop was damaged as the seeds did not germinate.
After investigation by the Agriculture Department, it was found that the seeds were spurious.
After a detailed report was submitted to the Krishna District Collector, he directed two seed-supplying companies, to pay compensation to the farmers. However, the company challenged the order in the High Court, and won, as the government did not file an appeal, The Hindu report adds.
Since then, the farmers have been demanding compensation for their losses, and staging protests to get attention.
This also comes days after a 32-year-old farmer attempted suicide by consuming pesticide, during the weekly â€˜Praja Vaniâ€™ grievance redressal programme at the Kakinada Collectorate.
He took the extreme step as he was waiting for his turn to meet the Collector, reportedly because he was fed up with the harassment from moneylenders, who were insisting that he repay a loan immediately.