Black diamond story continues: Surat worker ends life,toll at 23

A 40-year-old diamond polisher committed suicide by consuming poison at his house in the Punagam area of Surat on Wednesday evening.

Written by Express News Service | Surat | Published: February 27, 2009 1:32 am

A 40-year-old diamond polisher committed suicide by consuming poison at his house in the Punagam area of Surat on Wednesday evening. With this,the total number of diamond workers who have committed suicide due to the meltdown effect,has now reached 23.

Babu Patil,a resident of Vallabhnagar in Punagam,belonged to Amalner taluka in Jalgaon district of Maharashtra. He was working as a diamond polisher at Avira Gems in Varachha for the last five years.

The incident came to light at night,when Patil’s wife knocked on the door of his bedroom and failed to get any response.

She peeped inside through the window and saw Patil lying on the bed in an unconscious state. Patil was immediately rushed to the SMIMER Hospital where doctors declared him dead on arrival.

The police said,the factory owner had reduced the working hours and the wages of all the diamond polishers,after the Diwali vacations. They were being given about 25 per cent of their salary.

Patil was the sole breadwinner of the family and was facing a financial crisis to meet the day-to day household expenses. His elder daughter was staying at his native place while his younger son was studying in a school at Varachha.

To top it all,Patil’s father,Chetram,was a patient of throat cancer and had come to Surat from his native place for treatment. It had become even more difficult for him to meet the medical expenses.

Patil got his father admitted at the SMIMER Hospital for treatment and asked for financial help from his friends and the factory owner. Following refusal from everywhere,he committed suicide.

Punagam Sub-Inspector P K Katara said: “We have handed over the body to the family members. His father was shocked after learning about Patil’s death. We have found that he was unable to pay the medical expenses of his father and this drove him to take such a drastic step.”

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