Two farmers among the protesters belonging to the areas in and around Trichy, Karur and Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, tried to commit suicide on the 12th day of their protest at Jantar Mantar, by climbing a tree. The protest started on March 14, 2017.
The farmers who are carrying the skulls of dead farmers with them, have been devising innovative ways of protesting almost daily. Some of these ways include playing dead, putting a noose around their necks and eating rats.
On March 21, 2017, they met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to discuss their problems. Jaitley asked for a two-day window to come to a decision. However, the government has been silent so far.
The protesters’ demands include a better drought-relief package from the government and loan waivers from banks. “Since we have not been able to cultivate anything, how are we going to pay off our loans?” said an angry agitator.
The protests have emerged in the aftermath of a devastating drought – the worst Tamil Nadu has witnessed in the past 140 years. Farmers in the region have been incurring heavy losses.
The two farmers, who tried to commit suicide by climbing a tree at Jantar Mantar, could be stopped only after much pleading from fellow protesters, media and the public.
One of the persons who tried to commit suicide said: “I attempted suicide because there has been no response from the government so far and I am frustrated. We have been protesting for many days.”
“The protest will go on until our demands are met,” he added.