BENGALURU – Dejected at not being able to sell his produce due to the lockdown in force to combat the spread of COVID-19, a farmer in Karntaka’s Tumakuru district committed suicide on Thursday, police said. According to police, Gangadhar (60) hanged himself from a tree in his farm in Devarahalli in Shira Taluk of Tumakuru.
“Due to the lockdown, he had incurred huge loss as he was unable to sell his crop,” a police officer in Tavarekere
Police station told ‘PTI’ on condition of anonymity. The farmer had debt to the tune of Rs 4.4 lakh towards banks as well as local money lenders.
According to the police official, the farmer had recently dug two new borewells after the two other borewells dried up. Due to the summer, the new borewells too gave way, leaving the farmer in lurch. Somehow, he could manage to save the crop but due to the recent restrictions, he could not find any buyers, the police added.
“He had hopes that he would overcome the financial problems by selling the crop but that did not happen,” the police official added. The Shira MLA Sathyanarayana who visited the spot came under sharp criticism for his alleged insensitive photo-op.
The pictures that have gone viral show the MLA posing in front of the body hanging from the tree. When contacted, Sathyanarayana told ‘PTI’, “He (Gangadhar) is my voter and a dedicated social activist, so I had to go there. Why should I be blamed if someone takes photo?”The MLA also said the photo was not taken from his mobile phone but by someone else.
“I travelled all the way from Tumakuru after learning about the incident. I spent substantial time there as I did not see any police or district officers reaching there. I had to be there till the body was removed from the tree,” Sathyanarayana added.