Video recorded by Andhra plumber before suicide goes viral, triggers political uproar
Polepalli Venkatesh, from Gorantla village in Guntur district, hanged himself on October 2 after recording a video in which he claimed he was ending his life as he was unable to feed his family.Updated: Oct 28, 2019 22:36 IST
A video message recorded by a 29-year-old plumber on his mobile phone before committing suicide 26 days ago went viral on Monday, triggering a political uproar in Andhra Pradesh.
Polepalli Venkatesh, from Gorantla village in Guntur district, hanged himself on October 2 after recording a video in which he claimed he was ending his life as he was unable to feed his family.
In the video message, he was heard saying, “I am unfit to run the family, I have become helpless”. He further said that he had been at short of work for a long time now, and he could do nothing about it. He asked his wife not to miss him for long, remarry, and lead a happy life.
His wife Rashi found the eight-minute-long video, which her husband has sent her, on her phone on Sunday. She had not checked her phone after the incident, she told reporters.
“We were dependent on my husband’s daily wages. He worked as a plumber in construction projects and for the last five to six months, had found no work. My parents used to send rice and other essentials to support our family, and my husband felt insulted. He got more distressed as our one-year old son fell sick and we were unable to provide him with proper treatment,” she said.
Opposition parties on Monday blamed the incident on the YSR Congress government, headed by Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy. The government was held responsible for the collapse of the construction industry due to a severe shortage of sand in the state for the last five months.
In similar incidents, two other construction supervisors in Guntur, Naga Brahmaji of Tenali and P Venkata Rao of Mangalagiri, committed suicide on Friday.
TDP chief Chandrababu Naidu expressed his anguish over the suicide in tweet, with which he also attached Venkatesh’s suicide video. “It is mind-boggling to see workers committing suicide for five months without work or families starving. The government should wake up to self-styled videos of selfies as a refuge,” Naidu tweeted.
BJP Andhra Pradesh unit president Kanna Lakshminarayana said the YSR Congress government had miserably failed in addressing the sand crisis.
Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan also expressed shock over the tragic incidents and demanded that the Central government intervene to resolve the problem that has pushed the lives of over 30 lakh labourers into crisis. The Jana Sena has also called for a massive rally in this regard in Visakhapatnam on November 3.
Finance minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy acknowledged the problem and attributed it to the floods. “We are unable to mine the sand because of floods. We are exploring alternate ways. We will set the things right in 15 days”, he added.