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Wayanad farmer suicide: Kerala CM asks for report after Rahul call for investigation

Wayanad

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday asked the Wayanad district collector to look into the suicide of a farmer after Congress President Rahul Gandhi, who represents Wayanad in Parliament, sought an inquiry into the case.

“I have asked the district collector, Wayanad, to conduct a detailed inquiry into the suicide of VD Dinesh Kumar and submit a report to the government at the earliest for taking further action, including any financial assistance,” Vijayan said in a letter to the Congress chief.

In a letter to the chief minister on May 28, Gandhi sought an investigation into the farmer’s death. “I am deeply saddened by the suicide of VD Dinesh Kumar, a farmer, in Neeravaram, Panamaram Panchayat in Wayanad,” he wrote, according to PTI. “On speaking with his wife, Sujitha, I learnt that her husband had been under severe stress due to his inability to repay the loans he had taken and this pushed him to commit suicide.”

Gandhi also noted that Kumar’s death was not an isolated case. Though the Kerala government had announced a moratorium on the repayment of loans till December, “farmers are still being pressurised and hounded by loan collection agents”, the Congress president told Vijayan. He also requested him to provide financial aid to the farmer’s family and look for “long-term measures” to rid farmers of the debt cycle.

Vijayan, however, pointed out that the matter of debts can only be handled by the Centre. He urged Gandhi to bring up the matter in Parliament. The chief minister said farmers across the country are under duress as they are finding it difficult to repay agricultural loans taken from commercial banks and informal moneylenders, who charge exorbitant interests. “Also, the loans from commercial banks come under the SARFAESI Act and it is for the government of India to take a stand,” he added.

The Kerala chief minister said farmers across the country are under duress as they are finding it difficult to repay agricultural loans taken from commercial banks and informal moneylenders, who charge exorbitant interests. “Also, the loans from commercial banks come under the SARFAESI Act and it is for the government of India to take a stand,” he added.

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