Farm Suicides in Nalgonda: Compensation Being Rejected After Flimsy Inquiries

The District Collector


Sub: Compensation to families of farmers who have committed suicide – G.O.Ms.No.421 – improper  implementation – regarding

We wish to draw your attention to the appalling state of affairs regarding implementation of G.O. Ms. No. Rev DA2 Dept., dt 1/6/2004 in Nalgonda district.

A 3-member team of the Human Rights Forum (HRF) visited eight villages in Nalgonda and Bhongir divisions on April 14 to look into implementation of G.O.Ms.No.421. We spoke to family members of the deceased farmers’ as well as other residents of the village. Contrary to the administrations’ conclusion that all these cases are not eligible for compensation under G.O. 421, we wish to state at the outset that all eight cases are indeed fit for the financial assistance and rehabilitation package as envisaged under G.O Ms.No.421. Our enquiries revealed that most of the deceased were small, marginal and tenant farmers who raised cotton as the principal crop in a rain-fed area. Given lack of access to institutional credit, high input costs and failing and untimely rains they were pushed into a cycle of debts they had incurred in the process of cultivation. They ended their lives after being driven to utter despair as they were unable to pay back these loans which they had taken at high interest rates from private lenders. As such they fall within the purview of G.O.Ms.No.421. We will give below details of the eight cases we looked into.

However, there is an important matter we wish to bring to your notice. We were shocked to learn that the three-member divisional verification committee headed by the RDO has only visited one village – that is Peraka Kondaram in Saali Gauraram mandal. And even here the interim financial assistance was not sanctioned based on grounds we consider to be improper. In all the other seven cases, compensation was rejected without the mandatory visit to the village and due verification of facts by the RDO-led three-member committee. Wedo not see how it can be said that any inquiry has been conducted when the committee has not visited the village at all. An inquiry conducted behind the back of affected persons is no inquiry at all.

Consequently, the families of farmers who had committed suicide have been unable to obtain any assistance whatsoever from the government. Our enquiries with concerned citizens, media-persons and functionaries of farmers’ organisations have revealed that the three-member committee is not going about its job with due diligence in the other reported cases of farmers suicides in the remaining revenue divisions. Some of these suicides have taken place well over a year ago and the families are barely able to get by. Administrative negligence on this scale defeats the very purpose of G.O.Ms.No.421 and in a sense multiplies their tragedy. It is not our case that all cases of farmers suicides reported in the media are eligible under the said G.O. But, a valid conclusion in the matter can only be arrived at only after due verification by the divisional-level committee which has to, as a basic requisite, visit the village where the tragedy has occurred.

 It also appears to be the case that where the committee has indeed gone and made verification and rejected the case, it is being done on the basis of an excessively narrow construction of the policy set out in G.O.Ms.No. 421. For instance the case of Denkala Ramulu (28), goud by caste, of Peraka Kondaram village in Saali Gauraram mandal. As stated above, this is the only case which the three-member division-level committee looked into first-hand by visiting the village. We have learnt that rejection was on the basis of Ramulu not having any patta land and there being no evidence of loan being taken! The second assertion is plainly untrue, because we have seen physical evidence of loan taken and all villagers were unanimous that he had run up debts of over Rs 3 lakh because of successive failure of cotton crop. And it cannot be the case that compensation is rejected because he does not own patta land because he was indeed farming on about 4 acres he had taken on lease. If it can be established that there was “correlation between farm related operations, economic distress and social humiliation eventually leading to suicide,” then Ramulu’s family must be extended the interim financial package as well as extended measures constituting the ‘social cushion’. Needless to add, his wife and two young school-going children are in extreme distress ever since Ramulu consumed pesticide on 3-2-2011 and died at a hospital at Nakrekal the same day.

We would strongly urge you to get all cases that were rejected for compensation in the district enquired into afresh and do justice to the families. Please instruct the RDOs that in future such inquiries must be done properly by visiting the villages within days of the suicide being reported and ascertaining facts by giving opportunity to the concerned family and other residents and only then to come to a conclusion.

Cases HRF looked into

Nalgonda Revenue Division:

  1. Yempalla Nagaraju (22) yadava, of Kalakuntla village, Munugode mandal, died on 01.11.2011
  2. Mutyala Sattayya (35), yadava of  Kondapuram village in Chanduru mandal, died on 23.07.2011
  3. Karnati Narasimha (48), goud of Kondapuram village ion Chanduru mandal, died on 10.08.2011.
  4. Ms Shiek Lateef Bee (38), muslim, wife of Ujjili of Taskanigudem, hamlet of Idikuda of Chanduru mandal, died on 29.10.2011
  5. Rupandi Muttayya (54), vaddera, of Vangamarti village in Saali Gauraram mandal, died on 15.11.2011.
  6. Denkala Ramulu (28), goud, of Peraka Kondaram in Saali Gauraram village, died on 03.02.2011
  7. Erakala Satyanarayana (45), goud, of Taatikal village in Nakrekal mandal, died on 27.07.2010

Bhongir Division

  1. Gangadevi Narasimha (27), muthiraju, of Jaikesaram village in Bhongir mandal, died on 19.07.2011

Yours truly

VS Krishna
(HRF State gen. secy.)  

Ch. Guruvaiah
(HRF Nalgonda district president)

G. Mohan
(HRF State secretary)



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