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NEW DELHI: The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) Friday said that 11,379 farmers committed suicide in India in 2016.
The NCRB in its latest Accidental Death and Suicide report for 2016 says that there were 948 farmer suicides every month, or 31 suicides every day. The last report was released in 2015. As per the data in the report, the number of farmer suicides in the country has plunged to 11,379 in 2016 from 12,360 in 2014 and 12,602 in 2015.
The report adds that although Maharashtra witnessed a 20% dip from the previous year, it continued to be the top state with 2,550 of the 6,270 farmers’ suicides documented nationwide.
Overall, the data suggest that while farmer suicides have dipped by about 21%, those by farm laborers have risen by 10%.
The NCRB report also states that a vast majority of farmers who died by suicide in India were men, while women accounted for just 8.6% of farmer suicides in the country.
The report, however, did not reveal the reasons for the said farmer suicides. On the contrary, the NCRB in its previous report had given reasons behind the farmers’ suicides classifying them under categories such as crop failure, illness, family problems, and loans, etc.
“Not only were the old categories retained but more sub-categorization had been done to further diversify the data this time. But it’s interesting to note that this data has not been published,” a former NCRB official involved in the exercise told The Indian Express.
Karnataka recorded the second-highest number of farmer suicides at 2,079 in 2016 as against 1,569 in 2015. Meanwhile, in Telangana, the farmer suicides more than halved to 645 in 2016 as compared to 1,347 in 2014 and 1,400 in 2015 respectively.
West Bengal, on the other hand, did not provide data on farmer suicides for 2016. The state did not release any numbers in 2015. It had reported 230 suicides in 2014.
Over 15,000 farmers committed suicide in Maharashtra between 2013 and 2018, an RTI filed in the state had recently revealed. Out of the total 15,356 farmer suicides during the six-year period, 396 cases were reported between 1 January 2019 to 28 February 2019. So far, the government has provided ex-gratia to 102 families out of 396 suicide cases in the state, according to RTI activist Shakeel Ahmed.