MUMBAI: A string of farmers have committed suicide in western India after freak hailstorms and rains destroyed winter crops worth millions of dollars, activists and politicians said on Wednesday. The unusual weather struck parts of western Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, from late February and went on to badly damage crops. A source from the Maharashtra chief minister’s office told Agence France-Presse that seven suicides had been confirmed, with more killed by the storm itself, but the opposition and activists said the real figure was much higher. “There have been 32 [farmer]suicides so far across Maharashtra after the hailstorms started . . . We are getting hourly updates from our people,” said Kishor Tiwari, president of farmers’ advocacy group Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti.