21/07/2016 11:31 AM IST | Updated 21/07/2016 12:52 PM IST

'Malevolent Spirits Are Running Amok In Madhya Pradesh And Killing Farmers'

MP Home Minister blames 'Bhoot Pret' for farmer suicides in the state.

Representational image.

The real reason behind farmer suicides in Madhya Pradesh is finally out. They are killing themselves after being possessed by ghosts and spirits. We have this on the authority of none other than MP Home Minister Bhupendra Singh.

Replying to a question by Congress MLA Shailendra Patel, MP Home Minister Bhupendra Singh said that many of the 418 farmers who committed suicide in Sehore district in the last three years, took the extreme step because they were possessed by "bhoot, pret and upari saya". Singh's response led to much ridicule and sniggering among other present members in the Madhya Pradesh Assembly.

The ruling BJP government was left red-faced by Singh's logic as Sehore also happens to be Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan's home district.

Raj Patidar/Reuters

The reply prompted Patel to ask if the state government believed in the existence of ghosts.

Patel told TOI that out of the 418 suicides in Sehore, the state home department had not recognised even a single death as a suicide by a farmer because of crop failure.

"I am the legislator from the district and have attended last rites of many of these persons. There is Hari Om Parmar and Gajraj Singh and many others who are farmers having committed suicide after heavy losses from agriculture. Hari Om Parmar committed suicide after his gram crops were destroyed. Every second day there is a suicide in Sehore and the government is seeing ghosts," he told TOI.

Facing ridicule in the Assembly, Singh clarified that this information was based on the accounts of the family members of the deceased. No farmer had committed suicide because of financial hardship, he told The Times of India.

(With inputs from PTI)