Dalit woman attempts self-immolation in MP CM's presence

A Dalit woman today made an unsuccessful attempt to immolate herself at a function where Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was present.

The incident took place in Bhainsdehi town, where Chouhan was taking part in district-level 'Antyodaya Mela' (an event highlighting various government schemes for the poor), official sources said.

Geeta Bele, wife of Sukhlal Bele, a teacher at government school at Dhamangaon, was apparently upset over disparities in service conditions of teaching staff.

She wanted to give a memorandum to the Chief Minister highlighting issues like same-work-same-pay, disparities in pay scales and implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations, among others.

When she was prevented to do so, Geeta doused herself with kerosene and tried to self-immolate. Alert policewomen present at the spot overpowered and took her away, they said.

She was taken to a nearby community health centre for medical examination. Police recorded the couple's statements and allowed them to go.

Geeta later told reporters that she wanted to submit a memorandum to Chouhan drawing his attention towards disparities in service conditions of government teachers and demand salary as per Sixth Pay Commission, among other issues.
She also threatened to go on a hunger strike in support of her demands.

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