The Uttar Pradesh Police on Friday said a Dalit village development officer in Lakhimpur Kheri district committed suicide after allegedly facing humiliation and mental harassment from a farmers’ outfit and local headmen, PTI reported.
Trivendra Kumar Gautam started his service as a village development officer last year. Police found him dead in his room in Shivsagar locality in the Gola area of Lakhimpur town on Thursday. A handwritten suicide note written allegedly by Kumar was recovered from the spot. The note was addressed to his father and said that he faced casteist insults and humiliation from the members of the local farmers union and the village headmen.
Gautam blamed the president of the Kisan Union Party, headman of the Rasulpur village and son of the headman of Deoria village for harassing him.
Police are also investigating a video clip in which the officer is purportedly seen being publicly humiliated at a meeting. Scroll.in has not independently verified the authenticity of the video.
A man could be reportedly heard in the video questioning Gautam’s professionalism and called him a “kaamchor” (lazy), adding that officers like him should be thrashed with shoes and kicked out.
“Did you bribe somebody to get this job or have you come in through reservation,” the farmer leader Rakesh Chauhan could be heard questioning, according to NDTV. “See, tehsildar sahab, this is the condition we are in. You tell the people that they can’t hold a panchayat without permission, but your own officials are like this man here?”
Gautam in his suicide note said that he was troubled and felt that he was a failure. He asked for strict punishment for the farmers’ party president and the village head after his death.
Additional Superintendent of Police Shailendra Lal said five people, including the three from the farmers’ outfit have been arrested.
A first information report against eight people has been lodged on charges of abetment to suicide and on the relevant clauses of the Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, said.
Lal said a detailed probe was being conducted. “Investigations are on and no one found involved will be spared,” he said.
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