An attempt by seven people to self-immolate in front of Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis' official residence was foiled on Sunday, according to ETV Nagpur. All the seven people, who were previously employees of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), were reportedly arrested.
The seven people arrested on Sunday were among the 17 people who have yet not been reinstated by NMC following the sacking of 106 surplus employees in 2002.
According to ETV Nagpur, a few others might try to self-immolate in Mantralaya, the administrative building of the Government of Maharashtra in Mumbai, as well.
The Sunday incident, however, is not the only suicide attempt made in the state, either inside or near a government building.
On 7 February 2018, a 32-year-old unemployed man attempted suicide near the Mantralaya. The man, according to PTI, was apparently upset over failing to clear the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) examination. He had taken the MPSC examination in 2013 for the post of an assistant in the agriculture department but failed to clear the test, a police official said.
The police, quoted in The Indian Express report, said that Avinash Shete poured kerosene on himself but was stopped when he was about to light a match-stick in an attempt to set himself on fire. A police officer also said that upon questioning, they learnt that Shete had alerted the office of the chief minister and the district collector stating that he would commit suicide if his voice was unheard.
In another case, last month, a Muslim family was detained when they attempted self-immolation during the Republic Day Parade at Shivaji Park in Mumbai. According to The Pioneer, eight members of the family tried to set themselves on fire by pouring kerosene on their bodies but the attempt was foiled by the police. The family members were demanding justice for Shamsher Khan, who was allegedly beaten to death by Parbhani cops in December 2016, according to Mid-Day.
In November 2017, a 22-year-old man immolated himself outside the Vasai deputy superintendent office after being accused of molesting a woman, according to a report in The Times of India. He alleged that he was falsely implicated in the case. According to the report, he tried to set the deputy superintendent on fire as well by trying to embrace him but the police officer escaped unhurt.
Ashish and Amit Kothale, brothers of Aniket Kothale, also tried to immolate themselves in November last year. Aniket, arrested under the suspicion of robbery, was killed in Sangli while in police custody and the brothers were not satisfied with the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) probe, reported Hindustan Times.
Even in 2014, an Aurangabad lawyer was detained after he tried to immolate himself during the Independence Day parade outside the Mantralaya state headquarters in south Mumbai. DNA reported that the lawyer had poured kerosene over his body and was about to set himself ablaze when the cops spotted him and stopped him.
That's not all, though. According to PTI, the Maharashtra Secretariat building in Mumbai alone has witnessed four cases of suicide since September 2016, one of which involved self-immolation.
On 8 February 2018, a 45-year-old man committed suicide by jumping off the fifth floor of Mantralaya. He was convicted of killing his sister and was out on parole since 10 January.
In another incident, on 22 January this year, an 84-year-old farmer from Dhule district had consumed a poisonous chemical at the state secretariat, demanding a better compensation for his land.
On 10 November last year, a 28-year-old farmer from Osmanabad district had climbed on the parapet of the seventh floor of Mantralaya, demanding a slew of welfare measures for cultivators and implementation of the Swaminathan Commission's recommendations.
Police later managed to convince him to climb down from the building.
In September 2016, a 30-year-old man from a slum in suburban Malad had tried to immolate himself in the main lobby of the secretariat building over an issue regarding his house.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Feb 11, 2018 14:41 PM