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Detailed inquiry sought into farmer ‘suicides’ in Andhra Pradesh- Mrit News

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Fact-finding panel demands compensation of ₹7 lakh to next of kin under G.O. 43

Fact-finding panel demands compensation of ₹7 lakh to next of kin under G.O. 43

The Human Rights Forum (HRF) and the Rythu Swarajya Vedika (RSV) on Tuesday demanded that Andhra Pradesh government must launch an inquiry into the alleged farmer suicides and implement provisions of the G.O.43 that mandates a financial package of ₹7 lakh to kin of ryots who have resorted to extreme steps.

A joint fact-finding committee of the HRF and the RSV met the family members of 17 farmers, who allegedly ended their lives owing to agrarian crisis and financial distress, in Nandyal and Kadapa districts on May 28 and 29. The panel members tried to ascertain the reasons behind the extreme steps and prepared a fact-sheet, which they said, would be submitted to the government.

The panel sought implementation of the G.O 43 in a timebound manner.

“All ryots who allegedly resorted to the extreme steps were small and marginal tenant farmers. They had cultivated chilli, seed cotton and chickpea, mostly in rainfed areas. Lack of institutional credit facilities, high input cost, untimely rain and non-remunerative price for their produce had forced them into the vicious cycle of debts. None of the 17 families in question has got the compensation amount,” observed the panel members, citing the findings of the exercise.

They said one-time loan settlement was part of the compensation earlier, but the G.O.43 does not talk about it. “Even in the cases where the compensation amount was given, the lenders took away the money, leaving the families of the farmers in the lurch,” the panel members said.

As a first step, they said, the government must ensure that detailed and fair inquiries are done to the cases of all reported suicides and justice is delivered to the families without delay.

The panel members also pointed out that in many cases, tahsildars, instead of RDOs, conducted inquiries into the alleged suicides and they had told the families that they were not eligible for the compensation under the G.O. 43 as they did not possess the Crop Cultivator Rights Card (CCRC). “In all such cases, the proof of tenancy could have been easily established, had the administration been serious about it,” the committee observed. 

The six-member panel comprised RSV State committee member B. Kondal, HRF Andhra Pradesh unit president U.G. Srinivasulu, HRF State secretary U.M. Devendra Babu , HRF State executive committee member K. Anuradha, and HRF AP&TS Coordination Committee member V.S. Krishna.

The panel members visited 14 villages in Gospadu, Uyyalawada and Allagadda, Banaganapalli mandals of Nandyal district, and Mylavaram, Peddamudium and Duvuru in Kadapa district. 

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