A 17-year-old tribal boy from Vasai committed suicide in his village on Tuesday allegedly because the district administration had delayed issuing him a caste certificate.
Sailesh Ramakant Surung, a Class 11 student of Vartak College in Vasai, was found hanging in his hut in Surjamori village in Vasai on Tuesday afternoon. He had used his mother’s sari to hang himself. Sailesh’s parents are daily wage labourers. The boy committed suicide when his father was away at work and his mother, who is ill, was asleep.
Villagers noticed the suicide and cremated the body. Local legislator Vivek Pandit reported the incident to the Manikpur police when he found out about the incident on Wednesday.
Senior inspector Chandr-akant Jadhav said that the police had registered a case of suicide. Sailesh’s mother told the police that her son was depressed because the administration had repeatedly denied him a caste certificate. He had applied for the certificate as it would help him get into a good college. He had applied to the Bhiwandi sub-divisional officer for the certificate in July 2009, but had still not received it.
Jadhav said that the police had written to the (Thane) district collector’s office to check the authenticity of the allegations Sailesh’s mother has made. “We will ascertain when he had applied for the certificate and why was he not issued one. We will try to fix the responsibility on the officers responsible for the delay,” Jadhav said. “If the allegation is found to be true, we will book the guilty for abetment to suicide.”
AL Jarhad, Thane district collector, said he was aware of the matter and Prahlad Jadhav, additional collector, will inquire into it. “If any member of the staff is found guilty, he or she will be punished,” Jarhad said.
Pandit claimed at least 1,516 applications for caste certificates are pending with the Bhiwandi SDO’s office. “As per law, the certificate should be issued within a week from the date of receipt of the application, after necessary verification,” Pandit said.