Bhubaneswar, Feb 15 (IANS) A total of 2,639 farmers killed themselves in Orissa in the past ten years, the state’s Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout said Tuesday. He also claimed that none of the suicides was due to farm related problems or crop loss.
The farmers killed themselves mostly due to personal problems and family disputes, he told the state assembly.
Of the total deaths, 2,575 committed suicide between 2000 and 2008. The remaining 64 deaths took place from 2009 up to Feb 10, 2011, the minister said in reply to a question by Congress member S.S. Saluja.
The state unit president of Bharatiya Janata Party, Jual Oram, described Rout’s statement as a blatant lie.
“I am shocked to hear this. This shows how much concerned the government is about the farm sector and farmers,” he told IANS later.