Ludhiana/Gurdaspur, April 23: Three debt-ridden farmers ended their lives in the state in the past 24 hours.
Santokh Singh (70) of Barmalipur village in Doraha committed suicide as he was under debt for the past several years. He had seven acres and had to sell it in parts to cope with the family responsibilities, including the marriage of his four children. Now, he was left with just half an acre and a debt of Rs 40,000 was weighing on his mind.
Santokh Singh jumped in front of a train near the railway station of Jaspalon village on Sunday.
In his statement to the police, Kashmir Singh said Santokh was upset.
In another case, Darshan Singh (70) of Begowal village in Sahnewal committed suicide by jumping in front of a train on Saturday night.
His body was found on the Chandigarh railway line between Sahnewal and Lull Kalan railway station on Sunday morning.
He was said to be under depression for many reasons, including debt. His son told the police that Darshan Singh was diabetic and remained disturbed over this.
Some villagers, however, affirmed that the farmer had taken land on contract basis and was under debt. They also claimed that he was isolated as his family did not care for him.
In both incidents, the police have initiated inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). The bodies were handed over to the relatives of the victims after post-mortem examination.
In yet another case, a debt-ridden farmer, Jaswant Singh (45), ended his life by consuming poison at his native village of Madhepur in Gurdaspur on Sunday.
Jaswant Singh’s kin said he was under a debt of Rs 7.5 lakh that he had taken from nationalised banks and commission agents.
He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter. His cremation will take place on Monday.
Gurdaspur SSP Harcharan Singh Bhullar said he had deputed a DSP-rank officer to look into the sequence of events leading to the suicide.
“I will be able to comment only after I receive a report from the DSP,” said the SSP.
The police have started inquest proceedings under Section 174 of the CrPC.