Village officer attempts suicide after CPM panchayat members gherao her for Life Mission certificates

Village officer attempts suicide after CPM panchayat members gherao her for Life Mission certificates
CN Simi
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Thrissur: A woman village officer from Puthur attempted suicide by cutting her wrist after being harangued by CPM workers over the distribution of Life Mission certificates. She cut herself while her son, the panchayat president and the police were all present.

CN Simi alleged that the president and members of the governing body of the CPM-ruled Puthur panchayat detained and abused her in the office around 2 pm on Monday.

The incident took place inside the panchayat office at around 2 yesterday.

Members of the governing body, led by panchayat president Mini Unnikrishnan and standing committee chairman PG Shaji, arrived at the village office in the morning and started gherao, pointing out that certificates were not being issued in connection with the Life Mission project.

Ollur SHO Benny Jacob and his team also arrived on being informed about the gherao.

The village officer said that distribution of the online certificate was being hampered by server problems, but the protesters demanded that she give it in writing.

After having a phone conversation with the tehsildar, Simi suddenly took a blade from a table drawer and cut the nerves on her wrist three times.

Hospital authorities said she is out of danger. Simi underwent a plastic surgery on her hand on Tuesday to treat a deep wound.

The Ollur police, meanwhile, registered a non-bailable case against eight persons, including panchayat president Mini Unnikrishnan, for illegally detaining Simi and threatening her.

They have been charged under various sections for obstructing a government official from performing her duties.

The president and members of the Puthur panchayat are CPM representatives. Simi has been the Puthur village officer for four years. She has had differences with the panchayat administration over many issues and this forced her to attempt suicide, the police said.

In her police complaint, the village officer said that the differences started when she refused to release a tipper lorry that was seized for dumping debris illegally, despite the panchayat members asking her to let it go. TN Prathapan MP wants to be charged with inciting suicide.

TN Pratap, MP, demanded that the CPM members should also be charged under the section for abetting suicide.

Members of the panchayat administration gheraoed the village officer alleging that she was delaying issuing the income certificate for the Life Mission project.

In her complaint, the village officer said that the panchayat members continued with their protests even after she told them the delay was being caused by a technical problem.

The Ollur police are in charge of the investigation.

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