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Contractor shoots self in PWD engineer’s office

By HT Correspondent, Varanasi
UPDATED ON AUG 28, 2019 07:22 PM IST

Allegedly upset by a delay in payments, a contractor ended his life by reportedly shooting himself in the office of chief engineer of the Public Works Department, Varanasi on Wednesday, police said, adding that a suicide note has been recovered from the spot.

Police said, Awadhesh Srivastava (45), was a contractor and used to take contracts from the PWD. He visited the office of chief engineer Ambika Singh and shot himself dead with his licensed firearm. Hearing the gunshot, employees ran towards the office of the chief engineer. By then, the panicked chief engineer came out of his office and said that the contractor had committed suicide.

PWD officials informed the police. On receiving information, senior superintendent of police Sureshrao Anand Kulkarni reached the spot and carried out an inspection. The forensics team also turned up and collected samples. They also recovered a suicide note from the person of the contractor.

Police said in the suicide note, the contractor levelled serious allegations against PWD officials and accused them of delaying payments of work done by him. Srivastava also accused officials of demanding hefty commissions for clearing payments and if commission was not given, officials used to deliberately delay payments.

In his suicide note, Srivastava wrote that payment of around Rs 4.5 crore was pending with the department for work that he did. He had requested the chief engineer and PWD officials several times for his dues. He wrote that whenever he made a request for payment, he was asked for a hefty commission, and that asking for commissions to clear payments was a common practice in the department. He alleged that the department officials harassed and threatened him and other contractors with cancelling contracts.

Another contractor, who reached the spot after coming to know about the incident, said that delaying payment and asking for commission to clear payments was a common thing in the department.

SSP Sureshrao Anand Kulkarni said that the contractor was a native of Varanasi. He reached the office of chief engineer of PWD and shot himself. Why he took the extreme step is being probed.

He said that a suicide note was recovered from the spot. Asked what action will be taken into the serious allegations levelled by the contractor in the suicide note, Kulkani said, “A thorough probe will be carried out in this matter too. And strict action will be taken if the allegations are found to be true.”

Police said that after the post-mortem examination, the body of the contractor was handed over to his family.

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