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Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: He was due to retire from service within six months, but unfortunately the Assistant Commissioner of Central Excise Department, Arjun Kumar Dhal was found hanging in his residence at Baramunda Housing Board Colony in Bhubaneswar today. Similarly, in another incident, the body of Debnarayan Panda, personal assistant (PA) of Malkangiri Collector, was recovered from Satiguda dam on Saturday, a day after he had gone missing.

The back-to-back deaths of the two senior government officials has raised a serious question of whether they ended up taking the extreme step after failing to cope with workplace pressure.

Though no suicide note was recovered from the residence of Dhal, it is suspected that he took his own life. While police have registered a case of unnatural death and are carrying out further investigation to make headway into the case, Dhal's family sources said he was down with depression for the past few months.

Nakul Dhal, brother of the deceased, said, “He was suffering from insomnia. During his college days, sometimes he could not sleep throughout the night. For the past three to four months, he was under medication.”

On the other hand, probe is underway into the mysterious death of Malkangiri Collector’s PA Debnarayan Panda.

According to sources, Panda had gone to office last Friday and did not return home thereafter. His body was later found in Satiguda dam the following day. Panda’s wife suspected that he might have committed suicide due to office work pressure.

Banaja Panda, wife of the deceased, said, “He used to come back to home from office on time everyday. But he did not come back on that day. There might be some mental pressure.”

Meanwhile, psychologists are of the opinion that helplessness at workplace due to various factors might be the reason behind the suicidal tendency in such professionals.

According to them, it is one type of mental illness and there is need of treatment as well as counselling to stop such cases.

“Even if they are higher officials, they are human beings. We all should realise that mental pressure is one type of disease. Unfortunately, we do not have any service if anybody develops suicidal tendency. Helplessness makes us weak which subsequently leads us to commit suicide,” said psychologist Pratap Rath.

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