Forest officer ends life due to harassment

The body of Yadhvendrasinh Chauhan, 44, was fished out from a canal on the outskirts of Ahmedabad on Thursday. Chauhan, son of a retired Deputy SP, had written several letters and affidavits which revealed that he was under severe stress from his seniors who wanted him to indulge in corrupt practices. The officer was on deputation to Gujarat Ecological and Education Research(GEER)  foundation since last eight years.

In a letter dated March 31 and addressed to nobody, which is now being treated as his suicide note, Chauhan stated, “I am not in a position to bear insults and constant snubs anymore. The situation is so bad that I cannot fight any longer.” The victim’s father Chandansinh Chauhan alleges that his seniors refused to clear bills for projects he had undertaken in the foundation, demanding he overbills the foundation and gives them a cut.

 In another letter addressed to foundation managing director, Chauhan had lamented that despite giving proper documentation for tax investment about Rs 14,000 had been deducted from his salary, just to harass him.

  Relatives alleged there was constant harassment by officials. Given involvement of senior officers, the police initially was not even willing to register an FIR. It was only when the relatives threatened not to carry out the cremation that an FIR was filed against the foundation director and two other IFS officers. Senior officials at the foundation including the director,  Bharat Pathak, despite several attempts refused to comment on the allegations against them stating that the police was inquiring into the case.

GEER is an autonomous body set up by the forest department and its chairman is the chief minister.   The families allegations have severly dented the image of the state administration which the chief minister claims is non corrupt.

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