THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The suicide of a former Home Guard who had worked at Fort station as Special Police Officer (SPO) has shed light on the plight of more than 250 men who are deprived of their salaries.
The men, who had worked as Home Guards in the city during the Sabarimala season, are yet to receive their salaries. Though the men from miserable financial backgrounds had opted for the job which is laborious, red-tapism has blocked the applications for the release of their salaries.
The case of Shajiv, 47, of Kallikadu, is a case in point. He had joined as SPO at Fort police station after quitting his job of a security person in Technopark. But it is said that he was not informed that the job was limited for a period of two months as the officers had gone for Sabarimala duty.
He had worked at the station for two months and when the regular men came back, he was terminated. But what struck him most was that the salary of two months was not released. This had put him in a precarious financial condition as he had to pay the fees and expenses of his eldest daughter, who was doing her graduation in business management. This is said to be the reason behind his suicide.
B Vinod Kumar, the panchayat president of Kallikadu, said that the Shajiv had been reeling from debt and financial constraints. ”It was a suicide that was forced upon him. He had to support a family and educate his daughter and that required money. The salary was not paid,” he said.
Meanwhile, the CPM has pitched in with the demand of providing immediate financial relief to the family of the deceased and also urged the Government to expedite the transfer of salaries of the Home Guards.
”The Government is trying to dishonour the mortal remains of Shajiv than providing any relief to his family. We have understood the gravity of the issue and have decided to provide all moral support for the agitation of the Home Guards which will be held in front of the Secretariat on Friday,” CPM district secretary Kadakampally Surendran said.
But the police officers tried to downplay the incident. ‘‘Two months’ delay is not a delay. Official matters may get dragged. But if one decides to take his life just because he was not paid two months’ salary, then it is something bizarre,” a top officer in the Rural limits said.