In the fifth such incident in Gujarat in the last one and a half months, a farmer allegedly ended his life in Surendranagar district of the state as he was staring at losses due to scanty rains, police said. Pitambar Zala (36) allegedly committed suicide by drinking pesticide at Sadla village in Muli tehsil, around 150 km from here, late Tuesday night, police said. His relative Mukesh Zala told police that Pitambar was worried due to the less-than-expected crop of cotton this season due to a weak monsoon.
"Pitambar had sown cotton in partnership with another farmer. But the crop yield was less than expected due to the scanty rainfall. He was worried thinking he will not be able to pay his debts," said police sub-inspector A A Jadeja. This is the fifth suicide by a farmer in Gujarat since September 24. On October 25, Rana Gaagia (41), a farmer from Vavdi in Jamnagar district, allegedly committed suicide over a crop failure and cash crunch. On October 12, Viram Odedara (54), a farmer from Porbandar district, allegedly committed suicide due to a crop failure and mounting debts.
On October 7, 40-year-old Kalu Chauhan from Botad district allegedly committed suicide, worried that he would lose his crop due to the weak monsoon. On September 24, Anak Jebalia (35), a resident of Dhari taluka of Amreli district, allegedly committed suicide for the same reason.
The state government has said that Gujarat could be facing water scarcity in the coming months as it received only 76.72 per cent of the average rainfall this monsoon.
(With inputs from agencies.)