Statewide Protests in Bihar Against Debt Driven Suicide Deaths

CPIML, AIARLA and Self Help Group Sangharsh Samiti organized statewide protests and observed 11 June as Freedom from Debt Day in protest against the collective debt-driven suicides of 5 persons from the same family at Mou village in Vidyapatinagar, Samastipur and the starvation-driven deaths of 5 persons from the same family who consumed poison in Patepur, Vaishali District.

Freedom from Debt Day was organized at Kargil Chowk in the capital Patna. The program was addressed by AIPWA General Secretary Meena Tiwari, AIPF leader Kamlesh Sharma, City Secretary Abhyuday, AICCTU State Secretary Ranvijay Kumar and AIPWA leaders Shashi Yadav and Anita Sinha. Present on the occasion were senior party leader KD Yadav and many other leaders and activists. The leaders said that the Bihar government's attitude to the 5 suicides each in Samastipur and Vaishali is extremely insensitive. People are dying due to debt trap and starvation. Our party has repeatedly demanded that the government should take concrete measures to relieve the common people from debt traps and torture by moneylenders and micro-finance companies, but the government has turned a deaf ear and the result is heart-rending tragedy as in Mou (Samastipur) and Patepur (Vaishali). Demonetization, Corona, lockdown, inflation and unemployment have broken the backs of the common people. Our demand has been for sustenance allowance of Rs 7500 per month for families outside the income tax ambit, but the government does not care for the poor. In a state where people are dying of starvation, foodgrains are being used for the manufacture of ethanol! Our demands are: an immediate end to usury by moneylenders; waiver of all loans up to Rs 5 lakhs; immediate payment of Rs 20 lakhs as compensation to each of the victim families and steps for the safety of the remaining family members from moneylenders' torture.

Freedom from Debt Day was also observed in Beguserai, Samastipur, Darbhanga, Hilsa, Gaya, Arwal, Ara, Siwan, Purnea, Nawada and other Districts.