Municipal employee on strike kills self in Silchar

Image for illustration for representational purpose
Feb 18, 2018, SILCHAR: An employee of the Silchar municipal board committed suicide by jumping into the Barak river on Friday evening. With this incident coming at a time when municipal employees across the state are on a ceasework agitation for the past 11 days in protest against non-receipt of salary for the last 16 months - a movement in which the deceased, Ranjanpada Deb (54), was an active participant - municipal employees have blamed the government for the tragedy.
The State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) recovered the body of Deb, who was working as an inspector in the Silchar municipal board, from the river at Sadarghat locality of the town at 1 pm on Saturday.
According to sources, Deb left his Malugtam residence on Friday evening, saying he was going out for shopping. After some time, he telephoned his son, a student of class 12, to say that he would not be returning and was going to end his life. He also urged his son to take care of his mother.
The SDRF and police forces rushed to Sadarghat, only to find that Deb's glasses and slippers were lying on the bank of the river. A search operation was initiated, and his dead body was recovered at around 1 pm on Saturday. The body was sent to Silchar Medical College Hospital for autopsy.
An All Assam Civic Bodies Workers' Federation spokesperson said Deb had been at the forefront of the ongoing agitation by municipal employees in Silchar and that the state government needs to take the blame for Deb's death. "Employees of 96 municipal bodies across the state are on a stir since February 7 on the basis of an eight-point charter of demands, including realization of unpaid salaries of the last 16 months, provincialization of services of municipal workers, providing pension benefits and other pending demands. However, the government has not yet called for any discussion," said the spokesperson.
The BJP-ruled civic board's chairman, Niharendra Narayan Tagore, said it has not been proved that Deb killed himself due to financial crunch or that the ongoing protests had a role to play in the tragedy. "Rs 30,000 will be handed over to the family of the deceased on behalf of the civic board for bearing the expenses of his funeral," said Tagore.

Source: SentinelAssam

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