Farmer Suicides Not Over Drought But Personal Reasons, Tamil Nadu Tells Supreme Court

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Farmer Suicides Not Over Drought But Personal Reasons, Tamil Nadu Tells Supreme Court

Farmers from Tamil Nadu were protesting in Delhi for weeks over drought relief.

Chennai: 

Highlights

  1. Farmers committed suicide over 'natural causes', not drought, says state
  2. A petition alleged there were 82 farmer suicides in state due to drought
  3. Tamil Nadu is suffering its worst drought in 140 years
No farmer committed suicide in Tamil Nadu due to drought, the state said in the Supreme Court today, ascribing to "natural causes" what a petition says are 82 recent suicides by farmers.

The court was hearing a petition on drought and farmer suicides in the state, which alleges that there were 82 recent farmer suicides in Tamil Nadu. The government said it has given Rs 3 lakh to the families of each.

The state government's statement comes days after its assurances to some 100 farmers who held a 40-day agitation in Delhi and drew attention with their bizarre forms of protest - they held skulls believed to be of dead farmers, they rolled naked on the road, drank their urine and also bit into rats and snakes.

Their demand was that the state be declared drought-hit, and a loan waiver for farmers.

The farmers called off their protest on Sunday after Chief Minister E Palaniswami promised them that he would hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Tamil Nadu is suffering its worst drought in 140 years.

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