Tamil Nadu: More suicides to follow if conditions don't improve, say protesting farmers

The farmers have been protesting in Trichy to show their support to the farmers who have been protesting in Delhi for the last 31 days.

While for the last 31 days farmers from Tamil Nadu have been protesting at Jantar Mantar in Delhi, their fellow farmers in the state have been showcasing their full support to them. Farmers from Trichy have also been protesting demanding that the state and central government should soon bring an end to the crisis.

In the protest, the people with a 'nammam' - a religious symbol on forehead (also a representation of helplessness) and a farmer pretending to be dead was handed over a petition seeking a solution to the present crisis.

From the time of the Cauvery water dispute, the farmers have been protesting in the Cauvery delta region saying that their livelihoods are at stake and that they need immediate intervention and help. All Tamil Nadu Farmers Association's Coordination Committee has said that more than 250 farmer suicides have taken place since October 2016 and the numbers are only steadily increasing.

"We are second class citizens of this country; we have no choice but to die. The government is underplaying the farmer suicide numbers. More than 400 suicides have already taken place and there will be more, if this is how our condition will be," said Vishwanathan, a protesting farmer in Trichy.

The farmers have been demanding for the waiver of loans of over Rs 40,000 crore and to help the drought-affected in the state. Pained at the farmers' situation and the ongoing protest at Jantar Mantar, hearing a PIL, the Supreme Court has issued a notice to Tamil Nadu government calling the present situation a humanitarian crisis. The court has issued a two week notice for the state government to report on the steps taken to address the issue. The Supreme Court has also appointed counsel Gopal Sankaranayanan as amicus curiae in the case.

"It is the duty of the state to take care of its citizens and the situation of farmers is worrisome," said the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, in Chennai a group of youngsters blocked the arterial Kathipara bridge staging protest against the farmers' condition and the inaction of the state and central government.

The disappointment against the way the issue has been dealt with has created more trouble for the state.

Also read: Tamil Nadu farmers protest completes a month in the capital

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