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Posted at: Feb 13, 2018, 7:41 PM; last updated: Feb 13, 2018, 7:41 PM (IST)

Safety nets, grilles as Mantralaya in Mumbai turns ‘suicide point’

Safety nets, grilles as Mantralaya in Mumbai turns ‘suicide point’
A safety net stretched at Mantralaya in Mumbai. @dhananjay_munde/Twitter

Shiv Kumar

Tribune News Service

Mumbai, February 13, 2018

Security nets and grilles are being erected on a priority basis at Mantralaya, the Maharashtra government’s secretariat in Mumbai, after two people committed suicide here in the past month alone. Two others survived their suicide attempts.

According to police, Harshal Raote, a 45-year-old murder convict out on parole, jumped off the fifth floor of the secretariat building last week after failing to convince officials to extend his time off from prison.

Dharma Patil, an 84-year-old farmer from Dhule district, who came to meet officials for higher compensation for his farm that was acquired by the government drank poison in the secretariat complex two weeks ago and died in hospital.

Following these incidents, the opposition parties dubbed Mantralaya a “suicide point” and sought increased security measures.

The public works department has responded by installing a net between the first and second floors of the building to prevent anyone falling on the atrium on the ground floor from the seven-storey structure. While the net will be installed this week, grilles will be installed on the corridors on all floors to prevent anyone stepping on the parapets.

Recently one man seeking relief for failed crops had threatened to jump off the parapet on the fourth floor but was persuaded by officials who gave him a written undertaking that the government would consider his demands.

Police said no cases have been filed against the two who survived suicide attempts at Mantralaya.

Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil of the Congress said the administration has failed across the state thus forcing desperate people from across Maharashtra to make a beeline to Mantralaya.

“The government should solve the grievances of the people at the local level. Installing safety nets and grilles are temperory solutions,” he told reporters here.

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