Dilip Magar, 54, a technician with the Hadapsar subdivision office of MSEDCL (Rural), committed suicide after allegedly being harassed by his seniors. Magar’s suicide note details the “harassment” meted out to him by his seniors who apparently wanted him to take the responsibility for the “accidental death” of a colleague.
On the basis of Magar’s suicide note, the Loni Kand police have filed a complaint against three top officers of MSEDCL. While Magar committed suicide on April 7, the MSEDCL is yet to initiate any action against the three officials. Magar’s wife Meenakshi has now threatened to sit on hunger strike in front of the power utility’s office in Pune. “My husband was constantly telling the authorities that he was under pressure from his bosses…They wanted him to give in writing whatever they had to say,” said Meenakshi.
Dilip Magar ended his life three days after his colleague Shivaji Bhamgar (56) died of electric shock at Prerna Phata in Loni Kand area. Both used to work on transformers, on high and low-tension lines, and climb poles as part of their job.
On March 20, Bhamgar had climbed an electricity pole in Loni Kand area when he fell down apparently after suffering a shock and subsequently died on April 4. Ever since, Magar had been allegedly pressurised by at least three of his seniors to take responsibility for the accident.
“My husband has clearly stated (in his suicide note) that for more than two weeks he had been under immense pressure from his seniors who wanted him to take upon himself the responsibility for the death of Bhamgar. My husband had told me that they (his seniors) were not allowing him to sign the muster. For five six days, he was not allowed to sign the muster. They wanted to suspend my husband on the premise of remaining absent,” said Meenakshi.
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She said her husband became more nervous when not a single MSEDCL official turned up at Bhamgar’s funeral on April 4. “He told me this is how MSEDCL treats its employees,” said Meenakshi.
Since the death of his colleague, Meenakshi said, her husband hardly spoke, ate or slept properly. “In his suicide note, he has stated that he has lived a honest life and would not do anything wrong under pressure. I think it is because they wanted him to do what he had not done, he ended his life…” she added.
Sharad Chavan, general secretary, MNS Veej Karmachari Janadhikar Sena, said: “The seniors are trying to wash their hands of the case and target a hapless junior. The three senior officers succeeded in avoiding arrest. On top of this, the MSEDCL has refused to act against them. We are going to agitate till the family gets justice. The incident also reveals how the rot runs deep in MSEDCL.”
When contacted, Dattatrye Koli, superintending engineer, Pune rural circle, said: “Necessary action is being taken in the matter. Police investigation is on and the MSEDCL too is investigating.” He refuted the allegation that seniors tried to shrug off responsibility and put pressure on Magar.
PSI Tukaram Patil, investigating officer in the case, said: “We have filed an abetment to suicide case against the three MSEDCL officers. They have applied for anticipatory bail. The court has asked for our say and we have submitted it.”
The anticipatory bail petition will come up for hearing on May 3.