The Pithoragarh district administration on Saturday ordered a magisterial probe into the alleged suicide of a farmer the previous day.
Surendra Singh, a resident of Purana Thal village, had reportedly consumed poison after receiving a loan recovery notice from a bank. Though the farmer was rushed to a nearby hospital, he was declared dead on arrival.
“A bank (recovery) notice was found beneath my husband’s bed. He had taken a Rs 50,000-loan from a neighbourhood bank six months ago, but was unable to pay up due to losses caused by rains and hailstorms,” said Manju, Singh’s wife.
A team led by sub-divisional magistrate Vivek Prakash was formed to ascertain if the loan was the actual cause of the farmer’s suicide. It was also asked to check if the crops were covered under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.
The suicide spurred protests in Berinag and Lohaghat towns on Saturday. Panchayat member Rekha Bhandari demanded that loans given to farmers be waived off in view of crop damage issues.