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Contract employee attempts suicide at minister's office in Vidhana Soudha

Bangalore, July 15, 2013, DHNS:
near-fatal ploy Anand Kumar, who attempted suicide at the Vidhana Soudha on Monday  afternoon is shifted to Bowring Hospital. DH photo

A cleaner working on contract basis at the CET cell in Malleswaram attempted suicide by consuming poison in front of Higher Education Minister R V Deshpande in the Vidhana Soudha on Monday afternoon.

The man, identified as Anand Kumar, 27, was rushed to Bowring Hospital, where he was admitted to ICU. According to sources, he is stable and out of danger.

Police said Kumar submitted a memorandum to Deshpande at about 3.30 pm and even as the minister was perusing it Kumar consumed the contents of a small bottle which he had brought with him. Police said the bottle contained pesticide.


A senior police officer admitted security lapse in allowing Kumar into Vidhana Soudha with a pesticide bottle. He said Kumar had hid the bottle in the pile of files he was carrying and the security staff at the gate let him without properly frisking him, after Kumar flashed his Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA) employee card.

Harassment alleged

Kumar’s elder brother, Chaya Kumar, told reporters that his brother took the extreme step since he was being harassed by senior officers at the CET Cell and the Karnataka Examination Authority since November 2012.

He named the officers as S P Kulkarni, Administrative Officer, CET Cell, Chakravarthi Mohan, IAS, and Srinivas. He also alleged that S P Kulkarni was using contract employees for personal work at his house and when his brother did not cooperate, he began to victimise him.

Chaya Kumar also alleged that Kumar had met Deshpande three times in the past over the issue but that nothing had been done. He suggested that Kumar had attempted suicide out of sheer frustration.

Assault

According to Chaya Kumar, his brother was also assaulted after he requested leave for a week and was turned down by Srinivas. When Kumar began to argue, Srinivas attacked him.

Kumar registered a complaint of assault at the Malleswaram police station. “The two parties, however, reached a compromise after a medical examination was conducted on Kumar,” said Malleswaram police sources.

“Since the incident, my brother Anand has not been allowed to attend the office and not given attendance though he went to the office promptly,” Chaya Kumar alleged. “He says that his contract has not been terminated, but for the past four months he was not allowed inside the office.”

At the Karnataka Examination Authority, S P Kulkarni tells a different story. “Forget about it. It is a small issue. Anand Kumar was caught promising medical seats to parents who had come for counselling, if they paid him Rs five lakh. We also found that he was stealing from our store. There was no question of suspending him as he is not our employee. He was hired by the agency to whom we have outsourced work and we had told them about the problem. But no action was taken against him considering his poor financial condition,” Kulkarni told Deccan Herald.
Vidhana Soudha police have registered a case of attempt to suicide.

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