IAS officer assaulted by kin of dead ATI staffer

Director-General of Administrative Training Institute (ATI) Rashmi V Mahesh was roughed up by some relatives of an employee who was found dead in a sump inside the ATI on Wednesday.

Rashmi, who is also officiating as Regional Commissioner of Mysore, was blamed for the death of Venkatesh (53), a gazetted manager, who was found dead on Wednesday morning.

According to the statements of Parashivamurthy, a security guard at ATI, Venkatesh arrived at the ATI at 6 am. At 8 am, he was seen moving towards the sump near Kabini Hostel. Since Venkatesh did not return for more than half an hour, Parashivamurthy grew suspicious and went near the sump only to find two slippers floating. Soon, police and fire and safety personnel were called to the spot. Venkatesh’s body was recovered after emptying the sump. It was sent to K R Hospital for autopsy.

Sources said the death was related to the alleged irregularities at the ATI. The incident led to tension at the ATI, with relatives and some employees holding Rashmi responsible for Venkatesh’s death.

When Venkatesh’s body was brought to the ATI premises at 3 pm, Rashmi visited the spot to pay her last respects.

She was prevented from doing so by a gathering of about 20 people and was physically assaulted by the relatives.

Even though she was trying to console the grieving family members, some people slapped her and pelted stones at her. A person also tried to assault Rashmi with a slipper, but was restrained by the security personnel. Police personnel from Nazarbad police station arrived at the venue and prevented the situation from getting worse. Commenting on the episode, Rashmi said the assault was premeditated. “Though a tense situation had prevailed on the ATI premises following the employee’s death, enough police personnel were not deputed,” she said.

She also denied allegations that work pressure had forced Venkatesh to take the drastic step. Meanwhile, wife of the deceased, Manjula blamed that the differences between former director-general of ATI, Amita Prasad and Rashmi forced Venkatesh to take the drastic step. A case of unnatural death has been registered at Nazarbad police station. “We are awaiting the post-mortem report to ascertain whether it was an accident or suicide,” Deputy Commissioner of Police A N Rajanna said.

However, sources said Venkatesh committed suicide, as it was unlikely for a person to slip into a sump, which has an opening of about 2.5 ft x 2.5 ft.

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