AURANGABAD: A vegetable vendor allegedly committed suicide after receiving an electricity bill of Rs 8.64 lakh for the month of March which the power distribution firm later said was an erroneous one caused due to a missing decimal point.
Jagannath Nehaji Shelke (36) allegedly hung himself in the early hours of Thursday as he was distressed over the bill and several visits to the local office of the state-run Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company (MSEDCL) were in vain, his kin today said.
Shelke was served a bill, in the last week of April, of Rs 8.64 lakh after 61,178 units of electricity was charged to him, with MSEDCL officials now claiming that the correct figure for the units consumed at Shelke's household should have been just 6,117.8 This amount would have come to around Rs 2,803, they said.
The incident took place in Bharatnagar locality within Pundliknagar police station limits, said officials.
A suicide note left behind by the deceased stated that he was frustrated with the exorbitant bill since his household consumed electricity worth around Rs 1,000 on an average every month.
An account assistant at the power utility, Sushil Kashinath Koli, was suspended yesterday for alleged dereliction of duty, said officials.
The MSEDCL, which had earlier said that it had nothing to with Shelke's death, later took action against its employee after the deceased's suicide note was widely circulated on social media.
His family members today said that they would not cremate Shelke's body, which is in the morgue of a local hospital, till the officials responsible for the tragedy were arrested under charges of abetment of suicide.