In a dramatic turn of events, a Haldwani-based transporter attempted suicide at the BJP party office in Dehradun during a janta darbar programme presided by state agriculture minister Subodh Uniyal on Saturday.
After an emotional outburst over the implementation of demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) by the BJP government, Prakash Pandey, 44, claimed in front of the minister that he has consumed poison as a last resort. “My debts have increased manifold due to demonetisation and the way GST was implemented. I have also approached the PMO for waiver of loans but nothing happened. I have therefore been forced to end my life,” he said.
The incident took place at 1.30 pm and as the visibly puzzled minister and his aides fumbled to respond, Pandey turned toward the cameras of TV channels, “The Congress government was much better than the BJP. I am financially ruined due to the decisions taken by this government,” he said, taking out a pouch of white powder from his pocket, which he claimed to be poison.
Police officials present on the spot meanwhile swung into action and quickly whisked him out of the venue. He was rushed to Doon hospital where he was shifted to the ICU. Later, he was transferred to a private hospital.
Pandey was carrying a of bunch papers in a file that had letters to PMO and other state government offices. He claimed he had written to the PMO last year seeking help and in response PMO section officer, Shailender Kumar had asked the secretary revenue (Uttarakhand) to take necessary steps in his case but nothing happened.
After failing to pay the installment of three loaned vehicles, he had come to Dehradun to meet the minister.
Meanwhile, Garhwal IG Pushpak Jyoti said that no FIR has been registered but the district police team is following the case. “We are probing the matter and the SDM has recorded the person’s statement. The teams are verifying the sequence of events as stated by him.”
One of Pandey’s friends, SK Thapa expressed shock at the incident and said that he never showed anyone that he was under stress. “I am aware that he owns four trucks and also had pending payments running into lakhs. But he never mentioned that the situation was so serious that he will attempt to end his life in this manner.”
The transporter’s wife and children meanwhile rushed to Dehradun late on Saturday after hearing about the news. Doctors at the hospital where he was being treated refused to comment on his condition saying that he was under constant observation.
In Video: Dehradun: Debt-ridden man consumes poison during ‘janta darbar’