Soldier scales 'new high' against harassment at work

Soldier scales 'new high' against harassment at work

Muttu climbed up mobile tower threatening to commit suicide

An Army Digital Mapping Centre (ADMC) personnel sent police and fire personnel into a tizzy on Thursday morning after he climbed a 300-ft tall mobile tower threatening to end his life.

The high drama lasted nearly four hours before the disaster management team of the Fire department managed to convince K Muttu, 32, to come down. Muttu accused his higher-ups of harassment and attributed frequent transfers and being denied leaves as reason for his act.

Background

Muttu, who hails from Tamil Nadu, has been with the ADMC for the past 15 years and has been staying in Bangalore alone. He is married and has children.

It is learnt that Muttu had been transferred to four different locations in the past five years and his higher-ups never gave him convincing replies for effecting his transfers. He was allegedly denied leaves too. Sources said an incident that took place a couple of days ago also pushed him to take the extreme step on Thursday.

Muttu climbed up the tower at around 8 am, but no one noticed him for a long time as he did not make an attempt to attract any attention. Finally, someone noticed him sitting atop the tower and alerted the Banaswadi police.

“We were alerted around 10 am and rushed to the spot. He was unwilling to come down despite repeated pleas,” said the Banaswadi police inspector.

The police soon summoned the Fire department, Quick Reaction Force and a few Army personnel also came to the spot. However, an adamant Muttu said he was determined to end his life as he could “no longer bear the torture”.

Meanwhile, preparations were made to protect him if he really took the plunge. The job got tougher as a large crowd gathered to watch the drama and the police were forced to deploy additional forces to control the mob.

When Regional Fire Officer Shivashankar tried to climb up the tower to convince Muttu, he threatened to take the plunge, if the former climbed up. “I told him I was not a police officer, but only a Fire department staff. I climbed up 175 feet high where Muttu was sitting and asked him why he was sitting there. He told me he was fed up with his higher-ups’ harassment and decided to commit suicide. I convinced him and brought him down,” said Shivashankar.

Soon, he was taken to the police station where he was given first aid. He was handed over to the military staff for further action.

“We did not register any case nor was any complaint filed. It is up to the military to interrogate him,” said the inspector.

Although there was a lot of confusion that the soldier belonged to the MEG, Brigadier Gurdip Singh, Commandant, MEG,  clarified that the incident happened near MEG, but the soldier was not a part of the group.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, Major General Kumar, in-charge of ADMC, confirmed that Muttu is a part of their unit and said: “Muttu is a medical case. There is some imbalance in his behaviour and we have sent him to the hospital.”

On whether there were any such incidents in the past, Kumar said: “No, there has not been any such incident. He basically did not want to work. He was being posted to a new unit and he did this to avoid the posting.”

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