Chennai: A farmer attempted suicide by consuming pesticides at Keezhvannam village in Ariyalur district after his tractor was seized by bank officials on Tuesday for not paying the loan instalment for two months.

Devendran, 50, a farmer had taken a loan of Rs 9 lakhs from the State Bank of India to buy a tractor. For the last two months, he was unable to pay the loan instalment amounts. The bank issued him a notice and on Monday evening bank officials visited his farmland to take away the tractor. Devendra assured them that he would pay the instalments within a week, but the official refused to listen and took away the tractor.

Disturbed and in shock Devendran in an attempt to commit suicide, Devendran consumed pesticide. Neighbours noticed his act and rushed him to the government hospital where he was admitted to the ICU.

Ariyalur police said that they are investigating the reasons for him to take such an extreme step.

Ayakkanu, a farmer, says, “The way these recovery agents behave with farmers is rude. Even though we have a good track record in repaying the loan, if we fail for a couple of months, they are at our doorsteps using foul language. The hands that feed many are empty now. The bank officials and recovery agents behaviour force farmers to end their lives should be punished.”

In the past couple of years, reports say that a dozen deaths have been reported and yet officials keep turning a blind eye. We are fighting a failed monsoon and an increase in seed prices. Presently, we are emotionally and financially low, they add.

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