Bengaluru: The total number of farmers who have committed suicide in state due to agrarian problems has crossed the 1,000 mark in the current financial year.
According Agriculture Department statistics, 1,002 farmers have ended their lives from April 1, 2015 to January 11, 2016. With this, Karnataka has broken all previous records as far as farmer suicides are concerned.
While 156 farmers had committed suicide in 2008-09, 146 in 2009-10, 242 in 2010-11, 187 in 2011-12, 100 in 2012-13 and 58 in 2013-14, 48 had killed themselves in 2014-15.
Mandya, Mysuru, Haveri, Belagavi, Bidar, Shivamogga, Tumkur, Gadag, Dharwad and Davangere districts have recorded the highest number of farmer suicides since April, 2015.
This reflects the lack of confidence of farmers in the Congress government which claims it is the champion of farmers.
Sources pointed out that the number of suicides increased after the government hiked the compensation for the kin of those who committed suicide, from `2 lakh to `5 lakh.
This announcement was made by CM Siddaramaiah during the visit of AICC Vice-President Rahul Gandhi to Mandya and Haveri districts to instill confidence among agriculturists.
In fact, agricultural scientists had predicted a possible increase in the number of cases owing to the hiked compensation.
However, the government took the advice with a pinch of salt and went ahead with its announcement to woo rural population.
In dire straits
Farmers were in dire straits due to drought in the last two and a half years. As many as 140 taluks of the 176 have been declared drought-hit. Crops grown during kharif and rabi season dried up for want of rain.
Unfortunately, there has been no tangible help from the government except medical cover for farmers' families, free education to children of deceased farmers and group insurance for farmers' and their families....