A 40-year-old farmer in Madhya Pradesh's Barwani district allegedly died by suicide as he was being harassed by a local moneylender from whom he had taken a small loan, police said.
His family said the farmer, Dinesh Parmar, had taken a loan of Rs 1,30,000 from a moneylender and had already paid Rs 3 lakh after selling his land. The moneylender, however, had been pressuring him to pay Rs 8 lakh more, they said.
The farmer's brother Sujit alleged that he had been tense as the moneylender would call several times a week to extort money.
"A suicide note has been found. We have registered a case. Will take action as per the evidence," the district police chief Nimish Agarwal said.
The collector of the district - Shivraj Singh Verma - told NDTV: "In his suicide note, he has written that he had repaid. We are also checking if the accused had the license for money lending".
The case is a classic example of how poor and gullible farmers take small loans and fall into the debt-traps laid by moneylenders, who charge several times the original sum as interest. Farmers, to pay loans whose repayment generally depends on the lenders' whims, often sell their meagre property and cattle.
In July, during the first cabinet meeting after the distribution of departments, the state government had approved the Madhya Pradesh Moneylenders Amendment Bill and Schedule Tribe Loan Waiver Bill-2020 to free tribals from the clutches of moneylenders. The bill provisions for waiving all loans taken by the tribals till August 15, 2020.
Along with this, Madhya Pradesh Moneylenders (Amendment Bill-2020) was also introduced to free other sections of the society from the grip of moneylenders.
In 2019, the Congress government had informed the assembly that 144 cases of illegal money lending were registered in the state in 3 years in which 60 people had died by suicide.
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