‘Had police acted, my husband would be alive’

In his dying statement, Saini had told the police in Panchkula that he had taken a loan from a moneylender in his village and returned it, but the lender insisted the 36-year-old had failed to repay.
Truck driver Surender Saini’s widow Moni Devi (middle) alleged that four days before Saini committed suicide, he was attacked by moneylenders.(PARVEEN KUMAR/HT PHOTO)
Truck driver Surender Saini’s widow Moni Devi (middle) alleged that four days before Saini committed suicide, he was attacked by moneylenders.(PARVEEN KUMAR/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Sep 04, 2018 08:01 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Gurugram | ByNikhil M Babu

Sitting cross-legged on a yellow tarpaulin outside her house on Monday, Moni Devi (33) broke down as she spoke of Gurugram Police’s alleged inaction into her husband’s complaints of threat to his life after being attacked by money lenders — which pushed him to commit suicide.

Surender Saini, a truck driver, had committed suicide by consuming a poisonous substance outside the DGP’s office in Panchkula on Saturday.

In his dying statement, Saini had told the police in Panchkula that he had taken a loan from a resident of his village and returned it, but the lender insisted the 36-year-old had failed to repay. Saini said he had approached the Gurugram police and other organisations, but failed to get any help—a charge denied by the police.

After the incident, police commissioner KK Rao had ordered inquiry into the matter on Saturday and sought a report in three days. “We have checked the records, there was no complaint by Saini pending with us,” Sohna assistant commissioner of police Dinesh Kumar said, adding that Saini had money dealings with different people of the village.

In-charge of Sector 5 police station in Panchkula, Arvind Kamboj, said, “It is up to the Gurugram Police to take action on his complaints (against money lenders).” The Panchkula police have filed a case against Saini under IPC Section 309 (attempt to commit suicide).

Outside their house in Sarmathla village of Sohna, Moni Devi sobbed, “Why did they (police) not take any action? Because of them (money lenders) my husband committed suicide.”

She said three years ago they had borrowed Rs 1 lakh from three brothers who lend money to villagers and had repaid the amount with interest. “The moneylenders would come to our house, abuse us and ask us to vacate the premises. We repaid them after selling whatever I had received in my marriage.”

Saini’s brother Bijender Saini (26) said, “I had seen the accused coming to their house to ask for money. Sometimes they took my brother with them.”

Fearing threats from moneylenders, Saini had started staying away from home for the past four months, Devi said. “At times, he would come at 11pm and leave by 4am after I checked if it was safe.”

According to Devi, four days before Saini committed suicide, he was attacked by moneylenders. On Thursday night, he came home with a swollen right ear and a bulge on the right side of his head. “When I asked him what had happened, he started crying and told me the money lenders had attacked him at gunpoint. He told me he had filed applications everywhere, but no one was listening to him,” Devi said, adding that Saini had filed complaints four months back as well.

“The moneylenders told him he would kill me and our daughters. They even asked him to send me to them if he did not have money,” Devi said as her daughters aged 12 and 11 looked on. “He said it was better to die but I never thought he would do it.”

“On Friday morning, he left for Chandigarh to file a complaint at chief minister’s office. I last spoke to him on Friday evening. He said ‘if everything works out, I’ll call you. I’m switching off my phone now’,” Devi said.

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