A Dalit village development officer belonging to the Lakhimpur Kheri district of Uttar Pradesh, committed suicide after he was allegedly repeatedly humiliated using casteist remarks.
According to a report by India Today, Trivendra Kumar Gautam, who began his career as a village development officer (VDO) at Kumbhi block last year hanged himself to death at his home on Wednesday night.
In a hand-written suicide note addressed to his father, Gautam blamed the district president of a farmers’ outfit, the head of Rasoolpur village and the son of another village head behind his decision to commit suicide. He alleged that they were humiliating and mentally harassing him. The officer in his suicide note, also stated that he was subjected to abuses and targeted over the reservation, which, he considered wrong.
Gautam also stated that he is troubled and feels that he is a failure. He called for punishing the farmers’ party president and the village head after his death.
Besides Trivendra’s suicide note, the family members of the victim also alleged that he was humiliated by “Kisan Union”, led by Bharatiya Kisan Union-Loktantrik (BKU-L) in Lakhimpur Kheri district on August 28.
His body was recovered on Thursday from his rented apartment at Shivsagar locality of Lakhimpur town, 130 km north of Lucknow, police said.
Now, a video purportedly showing the young officer being humiliated at a public meeting has also gained traction on social media. In the video a man can be heard questioning Gautam’s professionalism and called him a ‘kaamchor’ (shirker), adding that such officers should be thrashed with shoes and kicked out. The authenticity of the video is not yet verified.
A Dalit Village Development officer Trivendra Kumar killed himself after facing abuse and humiliation by local pradhans and farmer leaders , in UP’s Lakhimpur Khiri @Uppolice@dgpup @myogiadityanath @adgzonelucknow Please Please Take Strict action It’s Heart Breaking 🙏🙏 pic.twitter.com/9w2RMS459e
— Ankit Mishra (@Mishra_ankittt) September 6, 2019
The Additional Superintendent of Police, Shailendra Lal confirmed that five people, including the three from the farmers’ outfit, have been arrested and an FIR had been lodged under Section 306 (abetment to suicide) of the Indian Penal Code and various sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, and the Information Technology Act, the ASP said. Fourth suspect, Rakesh Chauhan is still not arrested.
Angry over the incident, several village development officers held a demonstration at the Vikas Bhawan on Thursday threatening of boycotting work if the guilty were not held within three days.
Recently, a Dalit woman MLA from the ruling YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh had also alleged that TDP leaders abused her using casteist slurs during her visit to a Ganesh Puja celebration venue. The TDP leaders allegedly stated that Lord Ganesha will become ‘impure’ if Sridevi, a Dalit woman, touches the Lord.