As many as 1,344 farmers committed suicide in Chhattisgarh during the last two-and-a-half years, the state government said today.

In a written reply tabled in the Chhattisgarh Assembly, state Home Minister Ramsewak Paikra said, “A total of 14,705 suicide cases have been registered between 2015–16 financial year and October 30 this year. Of them, 1,344 were farmers and 13,361 others.”

He was replying to a question raised by Congress MLA Amarjeet Bhagat.

“Among the total cases, 13 people committed suicide due to financial crisis while 19 took the extreme step because of the debt burden,” the minister said. “The state government provided compensation to the tune of Rs 16,35,924 to kin of the 25 deceased,” he said.

As per the minister’s reply, 224 farmers committed suicide in Surajpur district during the period followed by Balodabazar (210), Balod (165), Mahasamund (134), Bilaspur (85), Balrampur (70), Mungeli (77) and Gariaband (65).

Besides, in Surguja 63 farmers ended their lives, Jashpur (53), Bemetara (51), Kabeedham (45), Rajnandgaon (25), Raipur (24), Durg (18) Koriya (17), Dhamtari (7), Janjgir-Champa (4), Raigarh (3), Kondagaon (2) and one each in Korba, Kanker and Rail-Raipur (referring to case registered with the railway police in Raipur), Paikra said.