NDMC staff eats poison, rushes to hospital to save self, dies
The family of Harpal Singh’s, employee of the New Delhi Municipal Council, blamed senior officials of the civic agency for his suicide. They alleged that Singh’s supervisory officers were harassing him by forcing him to work beyond his duty hours and in the areas that did not fall under his jurisdiction.delhi Updated: Jan 21, 2017 23:28 IST
An employee of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) allegedly attempted suicide by consuming poison at his office in south Delhi’s Sarojini Nagar on Friday evening. Soon after this, he developed cold feet and rushed to a nearby hospital in his Santro car. But his life could not be saved.
The 58-year-old assistant sanitary inspector (ASI), Harpal Singh, was said to be under pressure, as he was allegedly being harassed by his seniors. Police recovered a suicide note, which his family said he wrote in the hospital before his death. The ASI was posted in the NDMC’s health department office in Sarojini Nagar. He was reportedly the in-charge of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “Clean India” programme in Sarojini Nagar locality.
“Hum log yahan naukri karne aaye hain…kisi ki bhi himmat hai ki humko naukri se hata dega…toh fir hum kyon kisi se darte hain ya gulami karte hain…Main aapko ye kah kar jaa raha hoon…anyay kea age kabhi mat jhuko (We have come here to work…nobody can take our job…then why we are afraid of anybody or act like their slaves…I am leaving this world by telling you that never give up to injustice), Singh wrote in the note, addressing his colleagues.
Singh’s family blamed senior NDMC officials for his extreme step. They alleged that Singh’s supervisory officers were harassing him by forcing him to work beyond his duty hours and in the areas that did not fall under his jurisdiction.
Singh is survived by his wife Usha and five children – three daughters and two sons – all married. His sons, Ashwani and Songi, are unemployed. Singh was the only bread earner in the family.
His nephew Sachin alleged that his uncle was forced to work for 18 to 20 hours every day, even when he was 58 years old. “My uncle’s supervising officers used to ask him to engage sanitary workers in keeping the areas clean. They forced him to even clean railway tracks and areas that did not fall under his jurisdiction. My uncle was depressed because of such harassments,” said Sachin.
A senior police officer said that the matter came to light around 7 pm after Singh reached a private hospital in Chanakyapuri and died during treatment. Doctors informed the Sarojini Nagar police and told them that Singh died allegedly due to poisoning. The police informed his family members who immediately reached the hospital.
“One of the doctors gave us the suicide note which my uncle wrote before his death. He has mentioned about harassment at workplace in the note. We want justice for him and action against those senior NDMC officials who are responsible for my uncle’s death,” said Sachin adding that his uncle requested the doctors for a pen and paper as his condition started deteriorating and scribbled the suicide note just moments before he died.
The police, however, are probing if the note was written by Singh. “We will consult handwriting experts and seek their help to ascertain if the handwriting in the note matched with Singh’s handwriting,” the officer said.
Meanwhile, the body of Singh was handed over to his family members after the autopsy was conducted at AIIMS. His preliminary autopsy shows that he also had a cardiac attack. “Singh’s viscera samples have been collected and will be sent to the forensic lab for examination. We want to know if he died due to cardiac attack or due to poisoning, as said by the private hospital doctors,” the officer added.
The council will cooperate with the local police in their probe. Any action from our side will be taken only when the police enquiry is over. We cannot jump to any conclusion at this moment,” said an NDMC spokesperson.