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Dalit principal commits suicide; family accuses harassment by college authorities




Mangaluru: While the row over the death of Rohith Vemula, a Dalit research scholar of Hyderabad University, is yet to die down, another Dalit – a college principal – allegedly committed suicide by consuming poison in a city lodge. His wife and NGO Dalit Sangarsh Samiti alleged that he took the extreme step after he was continuously harassed by his college authorities.

Sudesh, 42, was working as a college principal in Srimati B Chennamma PU College, Madapura, Somwarpet in Kodagu district.

The College administration has been booked under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act at Urwa police station, city police commissioner M Chandra Sekhar told TOI.

The top cop said that Sudesh had come down to Mangaluru to meet his wife and children on January 16. During his stay at home, he reportedly told his wife Snehalatha, a lecture at a polytechnic college here, that he was being harassed at college for no reason and would end his life. However, after much convincing by family members, Sudesh agreed to go back and had left home on January 20.

It later came to light that instead of going back to work, he rented out a room in a lodge near KSRTC bus stand, Bejai. Sudesh allegedly consumed poison after drinking alcohol.

P Keshava, leader of Karnataka Dalit Sangarsha Samiti alleged that Sudesh was harassed by one of the staff and college management who wanted to take over the post of principal.

“As per seniority, Sudesh became principal which made one of his colleague furious, who later joined hands with management to harass him,” Keshava alleged.

Sudesh is survived by wife, son and a daughter.

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