A farmer who committed suicide in Maharashtra’s Veet village in Karmala district of Solapur on Wednesday, left behind a suicide note stating that his body should not be cremated until state Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis came to the village, said PTI. Dhanaji Jadhav, 45, hung himself from a tree near his house at on Wednesday night, Solapur Collector Rajendra Bhosale said on Thursday.
Jadhav’s suicide note, addressed to his friends and relatives, said, “I am a farmer, Dhanaji Chandrakant Jadhav. I am committing suicide today. Please take my body to village and do not cremate me till Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis comes here.” Karmala police also said that the note mentioned that Fadnavis should announce a loan waiver for farmers after coming to Veet village. However, instead of Fadnavis, Solapur’s Guardian Minister Vijay Deshmukh went to the village on Thursday.

Jadhav was a farmer with cultivable land of 2.5 acres, and had a Rs-60,000 loan to repay. Jadhav had also taken loans from some private lenders, police said. He is survived by his wife and two children.

After the incident, farmers’ organisations resorted to a road blockade and called for a bandh in Karmala tehsil. The Solapur collector is on his way to the village, and police teams have also been rushed to the area to prevent the situation from spiralling into a law-and-order problem.

A strike by farmers in Maharashtra, which began on May 30, had turned violent in subsequent days as vehicles transporting milk, produce and meat to cities such as Mumbai, Pune and Nashik were vandalised. Thousands of mandis were also closed. Farmers also protested the Central government’s ban on the sale of animals for slaughter.

On June 3, farmers’ organisations said they had called off their strike after Fadnavis made some assurances. However, protests have since continued, reported PTI.

Farmers have demanded waivers on farm loans, revised rates for their produce, free electricity, higher prices for milk and the implementation of the MS Swaminathan Committee recommendations.

Fadnavis on Tuesday said that the government would decide on farm loan waivers by October 31. The state government also promised farmers that a state-level commission would be formed to manage the costs farmers incur and the prices at which they sell their produce. It also agreed to revise the price of milk by June 20.

Farmers have urged the government to ensure that they get at least Rs 50 per litre of milk, said a report in the Business Standard on Thursday. At present, dairy companies pay farmers between Rs 21 and Rs 28 per litre depending upon the supply-demand equations.

At least five farmers, including Dhanaji Jadhav, have committed suicide in Maharashtra since Monday, reported PTI. Since the year began, more than 700 farmers have committed suicide, NDTV said.