A contractual employee with the Irrigation Department in Odisha allegedly attempted self immolation in front of the Assistant Engineer’s Office at Basudevpur in the district on Saturday over non-payment of salary for 60 months.
According to reports, in an act of protest, contractual worker Dibakar Das poured kerosene on himself in making the self immolation bid.
However, alert police personnel rescued him in the nick of time.
According to sources, Das joined the department as a contractual employee in 1983 and was later retrenched from service in 1989.
However, he challenged his removal in a court and following a directive he was reinstated in the job in 2016. But he is yet to get a single penny as salary in the second term of service.
“I have not received my salary since the last 60 months. Now, it has become difficult for me to arrange even two square meals a day. I am almost starving and finding it difficult to run my family,” said Das.
“The authorities in the department assured me several times to take the necessary steps for the payment of my salary, but they did nothing. Now, I am completely helpless. There is no way left for me but commit suicide,” he said.
Meanwhile, the officials of the department are hopeful that things will be sorted out soon.
“We have informed the head office about the non-payment of salary of the contractual employee several times and have no clue about the delay. The higher authorities are in a better position to explain the reason. Hopefully, there will be a provision in the budget and he will get his payment soon,” said Sub-Divisional Officer (SDO) Ajay Kumar Giri.