Order probe into farmer suicide: Kerala CM responds to Rahul Gandhi's letter

Order probe into farmer suicide: Kerala CM responds to Rahul Gandhi
Highlights

Rahul Gandhi will pay a two-day visit to his constituency from June 7 to thank the voters for his stupendous win.

Thiruvananthapuram: Responding to Congress President Rahul Gandhi's letter requesting for an inquiry into the "suicide" of a debt-ridden farmer VD Dinesh Kumar from Wayanad, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has stated that he has ordered a detailed inquiry into the matter.

In a letter dated May 31, the Chief Minister said: "I have asked 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 also assured that the Kerala government is making continued efforts to help the farmers and has also announced a moratorium on repayment of farmers' loans till the end of this year.

Expressing concern over issues being faced by farmers in the country, the Chief Minister said they ought to be raised in the Parliament and urged Gandhi to join the movement.

"...As these loans from commercial banks come under the SARFAESI Act it is for the Government of India to take a considered stand with regard to the outstanding farmers' debt with the banks. This issue needs to be raised in the Parliament and I hope that you will join us in taking up the issue of relief for the debt afflicted families in Kerala as well as other parts in the country," he said in the letter.

The Congress chief, who has been elected as MP from the Wayanad Lok Sabha seat for the first time, on May 28 wrote a letter to Vijayan requesting him to order an inquiry into the 'suicide' of Kumar.

Gandhi also urged the Kerala Chief Minister to extend financial support to the family of the deceased.

"I am deeply saddened by the suicide of VD Dinesh Kumar, a farmer in Neervaram, Panamaram Panchayat, Wayanad. 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," read the letter.

"Kumar's case isn't an isolated one. There has been a spate of farmers' suicides in Wayanad, due to an inability to repay loans. What is disturbing is that while the government of Kerala has announced a moratorium on repayment of farm loans till December 31, 2019, yet farmers are still being pressurized and hounded by a loan collection agent," said Gandhi in the letter.

"I write to request you to order an enquiry, into the circumstances surrounding Kumar's death and to extend financial support to his family. Moreover, given the devastating long term impact of the 2018 floods on agriculture in India, it is crucial to consider long term measures to free our farmers from the vicious debt trap thousands of them are caught in," stated the letter.

Rahul Gandhi will pay a two-day visit to his constituency from June 7 to thank the voters for his stupendous win.

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