Guj farmers demand relief package for families of suicide victims

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New Delhi, Oct 11 (UNI) Alleging the Narendra Modi-led Gujarat government for showing apathy towards farmers' suicide in the state, farmer representatives today appealed to the Centre to grant Rs 5 lakh each to the families of the people who took the extreme step.

A delegation of farmers and social activists today met National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Chairman S Rajendra Babu and briefed him about the ''ground reality'' in the state.

Social activist Shabnam Hashmi said after an extensive survey of many districts and meeting many affected families, it was clear that the state administration had become immune to the needs of the farmers which led to an unprecedented agrarian crisis.

''The Vibrant Gujarat is just a sham and the people in the rural areas are suffering because of the anti-poor policies of the Government,'' she added.

Announcing other demands included in the charter, farmer and social activist Bharatsingh Jhalla, who filed an RTI petition farmer suicides in Gujarat, said a meaningful package should immediately be declared for the families, entire loan amounts be waived, availability of credit, seeds and fertilizers be ensured and flood package of 2005, 2006 and 2007 be implemented.

He also demanded a probe into the''mismanagement'' of dams in the state since Mr Modi came to power.

The reply to RTI petition put the number of suicides at 489 in the past four years across several districts compared to the figure of 148 provided by Gujarat Minister of State for Home Affairs Amit Shah in the state assembly.

Mr Jhalla said the farmers would launch a campaign against the Chief Minister and seek a reply from the MLA regarding the farmers in the December Assembly polls.

UNI

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