Burdwan (WB), Mar 21: Another potato farmer, who was in a financial crisis, allegedly committed suicide in West Bengal's Burdwan district, taking the toll to four in a fortnight.
Atul Prasad Let (40) had consumed pesticide in his field at Bishnubati village under Jamalpur police station yesterday and died in Burdwan Medical College Hospital this morning, police said today.
The cousin of the deceased, Prashanta Bag, said Atul produced potato in five bigha (around two acre) as a share cropper after taking a loan of around Rs one lakh from several people.
However, he was not getting adequate price because of bumper production, Bag said adding the money lenders came to Atul's house yesterday demanding repay of the loans. He said Atul had felt humiliated, and after they left, he went to the field and drank pesticide.
Other farmers saw him writhing in pain and took him to hospital, from where he was shifted to Burdwan Medical College. The victim, who was the sole bread winner of his family, died in hospital this morning leaving behind his mother, wife and two minor sons, Bag said. Jamalpur Joint BDO Dipak Ghosh, however, said he heard that Atul had kept all his potato in the cold storage and also sold off a portion of it.
It would have to be looked into whether loan was cause of his death, he said. Jamalpur MLA Ujjwal Pramanick of Trinamool Congress said Atul's death has no relation with potato production. He had taken loan for some other reason, and committed suicide because of family problem, the MLA said.
While one potato farmer killed himself in Khandaghosh yesterday, two other farmers committed suicide at Bhatar and Mangolkote in the district in the past fortnight in the state as prices of potato remained very low.