Harassed by legislator, woman official commits suicide

B. Rajeswari on Sunday died of burn injuries at a corporate hospital, where she was undergoing treatment after she set herself ablaze four days ago.

Minister for Small Industries D.K. Aruna said action would be taken as per law against those responsible for the woman's death. She said Rajeswari named a legislator and two other people's representatives in her statement.

In her dying statement recorded before a magistrate, the 26-year-old mandal agriculture officer blamed opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) legislator Sita Dayakar Reddy and two district and mandal level public representatives.

Sita Dayakar Reddy represents Devarkadra assembly constituency in Mahbubnagar district.

After returning home from office on Oct 15, the Devarkadra agriculture extension officer had poured kerosene over herself and lit the match. She sustained 60 percent injuries and was shifted to Hyderabad for treatment.

Rajeswari, who had joined as agriculture officer only six months ago, told her family members that she resorted to the extreme step as the legislator and two other public representatives were mentally harassing her.

Sita Dayakar Reddy, however, denied that she was harassing the official and clarified that she only wanted to know about the steps being taken to help farmers.
Minister Aruna visited the hospital and consoled the parents of Rajeswari. She also gave a financial assistance of Rs.30,000 to the family.

Police officers in Mahbubnagar said they would take action against the legislator after receiving the statement recorded before the magistrate.

The Communist Party of India (CPI) has also demanded the immediate arrest of Sita Dayakar Reddy, who is also the president of the women's wing of TDP. CPI activists staged a road blockade in Mahbubnagar district, demanding the legislator's arrest and a compensation of Rs.1 million to the family of the deceased.

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