Paddy farmer ends life in Palakkad reportedly bogged down by debts

A paddy farmer at Karukamani, near Peruvambu, committed suicide on Wednesday following persistent loss of crops. His family sources said Muraleedharan, 52, had been facing a desperate situation where he could not even harvest the paddy he cultivated.

Son of late Ramakrishnan from Kovilkalam Thekkemuri in Peruvambu, Muraleedharan was found hanging in an unused house near to his own on Wednesday morning. Police recovered two suicide notes purportedly written by Muraleedharan.

The funeral took place in the afternoon after post-mortem examination. Muraleedharan was living with his brother Gopalan at their ancestral house.

Family sources said that Muraleedharan had nine acres of farmland and a house, but lost them because of debts. However, he continued farming by taking his relative’s farmland on lease. But misery pursued him so badly that he could not even harvest the first crop of paddy that he cultivated. Although his brothers helped him frequently, he continued to be in debts.

Agriculture assistant director Smita Samuel from Kollengode, and assistant agriculture officer Sajita Banu from Peruvambu, visited Muraleedharan’s paddy farm and took stock of it.

Desiya Karshaka Samajam (DKS) general secretary Muthalamthodu Mani appealed to the State and Central governments not to turn a blind eye on Muraleedharan’s death. “The government should view this farmer’s death as an agricultural disaster, and should make proper interventions so as to make agriculture, particularly paddy farming, profitable,” he said.

District Congress Committee (DCC) vice president Sumesh Achuthan held debts responsible for the death of Muraleedharan. “He would not have ended his life had the government provided some succour to the farmers,” said Mr. Achuthan.

He said it was about 200 metres away that another farmer had a tragic death a few days ago. The farmer, Damodaran, had been electrocuted while drying his harvested paddy a few days ago. He said the delay caused by the government in paddy procurement had brought in misery for the farmers across the State.

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