A 35-year-old Dalit man from Uttar Pradesh committed suicide in Bengaluru after being discriminated on a caste basis at the workplace. He had filed a police complaint about caste-based discrimination at the workplace before committing suicide, as per the report.
Raj uploaded a video on YouTube before killing himself. He said he was unable to fight caste-based discrimination anymore. He further alleged that he was also being harassed by his colleagues. A graduate of the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Raj was employed as a visual merchandiser at Lifestyle International Private Limited. In the end of the video, he said that he was proud of fighting the system within the private sector.
In an FIR registered hours before his death, Raj had accused two of his senior colleagues of discriminating against him on the basis of caste. The FIR was filed under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. In a separate complaint filed by his father, Raj’s reporting manager Malathi, and colleagues Kumar Suraj and Nithesh Kumar have been charged with abetment to suicide.
As per the police, Raj was facing mental harassment for months. Furthermore, casteist slurs had been hurled at him at his workplace. The company did not take any action even as Raj approached his seniors.
A report also suggests that initially, even the police did not file his complaint till an assistant commissioner intervened in the matter. It further added that after Raj’s office came to know that he had approached the police, he had been asked to quit before June 18.
However, the Lifestyle International Company where the victim was working claimed that they have taken action in the case. In a statement to the police, the company authority said, Vivek had raised a complaint through their internal process, and a thorough internal investigation was conducted in accordance with company policies, feedback was shared with Raj, and the appropriate actions were taken against the accused.
The company further said they are cooperating with the investigation as this matter is sub judice and being investigated by the police.
Raj raised a serious concern about caste discrimination being rooted even in the well-civilized society. He said he has come a long way from a particular background by studying hard and working hard. He changed his life and became a better human being.
He also said he was trying to be kind to others, but the world was not kind to him. In a power-dominant society, He was harassed by people with power and money, but no one had addressed his issue. He also alleged that people were ready to offer money to shut him about the issue rather than supporting him to fight the discrimination.
He also referred to Narendra Modi, saying that he knew the prime minister would not speak up on the matter. He made a request to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, SC/ST Commission, and police to be more vigilant, to cooperate, and asked to come up with a better grievance resolution system. Raj said, If his sacrifice brings change, let it be.
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