An employee of the Uttar Pradesh power department died by suicide, allegedly after a senior official asked him to “send his wife for a night” if he wanted a transfer.
Upset and humiliated, 45-year-old Gokul Prasad poured diesel over himself outside the junior engineer’s office in Lakhimpur and set himself on fire. He was rushed to a hospital where he died during treatment on Sunday.
Junior engineer Nagendra Kumar and a clerk have been suspended and a police case has been registered.
In a video shot after Gokul Prasad had set himself on fire, he is seen in immense pain as he narrates what led him to the extreme step. He alleges that the junior engineer and his aide had been harassing him and that he had approached the police, but received no help.
In another video, his wife alleges that the accused had been torturing Gokul for the past three years. “He went into depression, started taking medication, but they did not spare him. He was transferred to Aliganj and was facing difficulty in travelling. So he asked for a transfer closer home. They told him, ‘get your wife to sleep with us and we will get you transferred’,” she said.
She added that no one came forward to help him. “The junior engineer stood there and watched,” she said.
Senior police officer Sanjiv Suman said, “The lineman had alleged that the junior engineer used to demand money and made vulgar statements when he sought a transfer. We have registered a case. At the department level, the junior engineer has been suspended and an inquiry ordered. The case has been registered under the abetment to suicide charge.”