Pushed to the wall, a 33-year-old suspended panchayat secretary from Julvania village in Madhya Pradesh sought permission to end his life from officials during a weekly public hearing at Jhabua district headquarters on Tuesday.
A father of three, Jaswant Singh submitted an affidavit in which he appealed to the president, governor, chief minister and Jhabua district collector for permission to end his life in order to end his plight.
In 2013, Singh was suspended by the Jhabua district collector following a tehsildar’s adverse remarks against him for corrupt practices in 2013.
In his affidavit, Singh levelled serious allegations against local BJP leader Vishwas Soni of financially and mentally harassing him. Soni, meanwhile, rubbished the charges.
Singh told HT that he was a ‘victim’ of the tussle between Soni and the tehsildar. “Soni, who owns a petrol pump at Gudipada village, pressured me to issue a no-objection certificate (NOC). Initially, I told him that it is not under my jurisdiction and he need to take permission from the gram sabha. But Soni kept insisting for the NOC,” he said.
“After I issued the NOC, the tehsildar initiated a probe against me… and on the basis of his inquiry findings, the district collector suspended me on February 20, 2013,” Singh said.
Singh further alleged that Soni agreed to help him get his suspension revoked but not before striking a deal for `70,000. “After Soni got the money, he started ignoring me,” he said.
When contacted, Soni said he was ready to face any investigation in the matter. “Singh was suspended by the then collector due to his involvement in corruption under the MGNREG scheme,” Soni said.
Jhabua in-charge collector Anurag Choudhary said he was out of the town and unaware of Singh’s petition at the weekly hearing at the district headquarters.
He, however, admitted that it was unacceptable to keep a person suspended for so long as the accused should be terminated from his job or a penalty imposed on him.
“The administration will decide Singh’s fate within the next two weeks after conducting an inquiry in the matter,” he added.