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After multiple suicide attempts, Mantralaya in Mumbai won’t be open to all

On Friday, a day after the suicide, more security personnel were seen on each of the seven floors of the building

mumbai Updated: Feb 10, 2018 12:02 IST
Swapnil Rawal
Swapnil Rawal
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Mantralaya,suicide attempts
On Thursday, a 44-year-old murder convict committed suicide by jumping off the fifth floor of the building, prompting the government to take preventive action.(HT File Photo)

Planning to visit Mantralaya for some work? It may not be so easy now as the state government plans several measures to restrict the entry of visitors, in the light of the recent spate of suicide attempts in and around the state secretariat. The government also plans to increase security and install safety nets in the building.

On Thursday, a 44-year-old murder convict committed suicide by jumping off the fifth floor of the building, prompting the government to take preventive action. Four suicide attempts have taken place in and around Mantralaya in the last one month, leading to two deaths. The Opposition has slammed the government, dubbing Mantralaya as “suicide point”.

On Friday, a day after the suicide, more security personnel were seen on each of the seven floors of the building. In some cases, visitors were not allowed to sit in the area adjacent to the railings.

Maharashtra chief secretary Sumit Mullick said the home department has been asked to prepare a plan to prevent and keep a check on such incidents. “We are looking at various measures, including the Delhi model, where people are allowed only if they have an appointment. Another plan is to put up an administrative desk outside the main building for people who want to drop in their letters,” Mullick said,

Installing safety nets on the first floor, similar to one outside an under-construction high-rise building, too is under consideration. “Screening is not a fool-proof solution. It is unfortunate that people take such steps, and a string of incidents have happened here. Installing nets is an option. The home department will come up with a detailed plan in a few days,” said another senior bureaucrat.

Foxconn, the Chinese electronics manufacturing company, which faced a spate of suicides by its employees, erected safety nets around its factories in Shenzhen, China to prevent such incidents.

‘Raote didn’t seek remittance of jail term’

A day after Harshal Raote committed suicide by jumping off the fifth floor of the high-security Mantralaya, senior official on Friday said Raote did not submit any application to remit his jail term. Raote was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering his sister-in-law, Suvarna Kadam, in 2003. Raote had served 12-and-a-half years in prison and was lodged at the open prison in Paithan, officials said.

Senior bureaucrats said the process of remittance begins after the convict has served 12 or 13 years. “But in his case, it was a crime against woman, and the guidelines don’t allow such crimes to be viewed with leniency. In such cases, the remittance procedure begins after the convict has served close to 20 years,” said a senior bureaucrat said requesting anonymity.

First Published: Feb 10, 2018 12:01 IST