TRS flays attempts to paint farmers’ deaths as suicides

Party suggests them to go through NCRB statistics

The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has strongly criticised the attempts of some organisations working in the name of farmers to spread misinformation about farmers deaths in the State by painting them as suicides.

Chairman of the Telangana Rashtra Rythu Bandhu Samithi (RBS) and MLC Palla Rajeshwar Reddy said here on Monday that “Rythu Swarajya Vedika, a commercial organisation being run in the name of farmers by some Andhra leaders along with a few media houses owned by Andhra managements” were trying to depict the deaths of farmers, recorded in the Rythu Bima group life insurance scheme as suicides, for the last few weeks.

Such organisations and their leaders along with Andhra media houses are unable to digest the farmers’ welfare schemes being implemented by the Telangana government and trying to show deaths recorded under Rythu Bima as suicides disregarding even the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) statistics, Mr. Reddy said addressing mediapersons.

The RBS Chairman explained that Rythu Bima scheme covers all deaths of insured farmers, including with the causes of ill-health, electrocution, accident, snake-bite, fire mishap and others and 73,825 farmers’ deaths had been covered under it so far with an insurance claim totalling to ₹3,524.1 crore since August 2018.

Citing the NCRB statistics on farmers’ suicides in Telangana, Mr. Rajeshwar Reddy said the number was 1,348 in 2014 and by 2018 it had come down to 903, to 499 in 2019 and to 471 in 2020. The statistics for 2021 are yet to be released, he explained.

Against the view of such self-styled organisations, the farming community in the State is happy with the schemes being implemented by the State government and that is the reason why the government has decided to celebrate disbursement of ₹50,000 crore grant as investment support to landholding (pattadar) farmers during the last eight agricultural seasons from January 3 to 10 by following COVID-19 norms, the RBS chairman said.

On Rythu Bandhu, he said several international bodies, including the UN-FAO, several State governments had hailed the scheme and several States within the country, including Andhra Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal and others are implementing schemes similar to it on a smaller scale. Even the Union government had taken cue from Rythu Bandhu to launch PM-KISAN scheme, he said.

Mr. Reddy criticised BJP leaders in the State for trying to create confusion about farmers’ deaths. In spite of Opposition outcry, the State government had so far procured 65 lakh tonnes of paddy of this kharif season against 48 lakh tonnes procured during the last kharif.

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