U’khand transporter shoots video blaming GST and note ban for debt, takes poison, dies
The transporter Prakash Pandey reportedly consumed poison and then attended a public grievance redress programme at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters in Dehradun.dehradun Updated: Jan 09, 2018 19:13 IST
An Uttarakhand transporter died on Tuesday after he took poison for his alleged business losses, blaming the goods and services tax (GST) and the demonetisation drive at a public grievance programme organised by the BJP three days ago.
The Haldwani-based man, identified as Prakash Pandey, criticised the Union government’s two key economic reforms in a two-minute video that he reportedly shot before he gulped down an unknown quantity of aluminium phosphide, a highly poisonous fumigant powder often used in granaries.
He went to the BJP office in Dehradun on Saturday afternoon when state agriculture minister Subodh Uniyal was listening to public complaints.
Pandey cried and said: “I am upset with the system and in debt because of the GST and demonetisation.” He also sought help from BJP leaders to recover dues from the government.
But BJP president Ajay Bhatt denied that the government owed him any money. “We confirmed that Pandey’s money was stuck with private players,” he said.
The businessman collapsed after making his submission at the state BJP headquarters and he was taken to a government hospital. He was shifted a private hospital after his condition deteriorated. Doctors said Pandey had taken aluminium phosphide sold under the brand name Celphos.
The Congress, which opposes the GST as well as the 2016 demonetisation of two high-value banknotes, underscored Pandey’s death by suicide to criticise the government’s policies.
The party’s state president Pritam Singh blamed the government for ignoring what he called the genuine woes of people such as Pandey. “We stand by the family of Prakash Pandeyji. It is not a suicide but a murder,” he said and demanded compensation to the family.
Pandey, who was in his mid-40s, is survived by his wife and two children. His immediate family was in Haldwani while a brother-in-law and two cousins were with him at the time of his death.
Brother-in-law Umesh Melkani said that Pandey was under stress and had sought help from several quarters.