A 42-year-old farmer from Maharashtra's Pune district allegedly killed himself over not getting the MSP for onions and left behind a suicide note in which he purportedly extended birthday wishes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged that he ensure guaranteed price for onions and other crops.
The suicide note also stated about "foul language" used by people associated with a cooperative society and threat by lenders (finance firms), a police officer said on Monday.
The farmer, Dashrath Kedari, consumed pesticide before jumping into the pond in Wadgaon Anand village in Junnar tehsil on Saturday.
"Kedari had grown onions. But as the crop failed to fetch a satisfactory price, he stored the agricultural produce worth Rs 1.5 lakh to 2 lakh. He anticipated that this time, he would get a better price but it did not happen," said Pramod Kshirsagar, police inspector, Ale Phata police station.
He said the onions were damaged due to the rains. Kedari also incurred losses on soybean and tomato crops.
"He had borrowed from a cooperative society. In the suicide note purportedly written by him, the farmer has asked PM Modi to give MSP for the agriculture produce like onions and mentioned that farming has become gambling," Kshirsagar said.
"Today, I am forced to commit suicide because of your inaction. Please give us our righteous guaranteed market price," stated the note written in Marathi.
After signing the suicide note, Kedari purportedly wished PM Modi on his birthday at the bottom of the note, the officer said.
He added that a relative of Kedari handed over the "suicide note", which was found in the clothes he had removed before jumping into the pond, to the police.
"The note will be sent to handwriting experts," Kshirsagar said.
In the purported suicide note, which went viral on social media, the farmer referred to threatening by lenders and foul words used by the cooperative society.
Kedari asked whom to approach for justice and stated that nobody plays a gamble the way farmers do.
The note also stated that while onion and tomato crops failed to fetch any price there was a COVID-19 crisis and heavy rains.
The farmer also asked PM Modi to give a guaranteed price for the agricultural produce and also stated that he (Modi) could not keep control over agriculture.
The farmer stated that he was fed up with his life and also blamed the state government for not giving proper price for onion and tomatoes, the officer said quoting the note.
Meanwhile, Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swavlamban Mission (VNSSM) chairman and Shiv Sena Spokesperson Kishore Tiwari has written to the prime minister seeking urgent steps to stop ongoing farmer suicides in Maharashtra and visit the deceased farmer Dashrath Kedari's village in Pune.
"A victim of the continuing failure of policies in tackling the agrarian crisis, distress and depression in the agrarian community across Maharashtra, now need urgent steps from Central Government to stop the going farmer suicides," he wrote.
Tiwari further asked the prime minister to address the core issues of rural economic crisis and agrarian plight by controlling input cost, proper marketing intervention and sustainable minimum support price (MSP), easy credit from public banks at the doorstep of debt-ridden farmers, change in crop pattern to fulfil the needs and stop the import of oilseed, pulses and food items.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)