In a tragic incident, a state Agriculture Department official's pleas for a half day leave to attend his depressed son were turned down by his superior who nudged the official to continue working, following which the boy allegedly committed suicide. The incident took place last week and the Maharashtra government has ordered an inquiry into it.
Sources in the state Agriculture Department said on the afternoon of August 12, Ghadge got a panic call from his son. The young man said unless his father came home to Navi Mumbai right away, he would end his life.
"Ghadge's 23-year-old son was desperately calling him to come back home and had threatened to commit suicide if he did not turn up," the source said. "So Ghadge approached Sahay with a permission for a half day leave. Sahay, known for his whimsical ways not only denied the permission, but asked Ghadge to work as per the regular office hours," he added.
A distraught Ghadge was virtually on his knees as he got a second frantic call from his son. He once again approached Sahay pleading for mercy, but his pleas fell on deaf ears, the source said."All that he got to hear again from Sahay was a 'no'. At the end of the day, Ghadge's worst fears came true as he got the news from his home that his son had committed suicide," he said.
Meanwhile, General Secretary of the Maharashtra State Government Employees Central Confederation, Subhash Gangurde, has sought that an FIR be lodged against Sahai and he be suspended pending the inquiry.
Agriculture department officials, who had earlier planned to take a mass casual leave on Friday, have now decided to attend to work but they will be wearing black badges. On Saturday, the protest will be extended to officials from all departments in the state administrative headquarters.
In their memorandum, the employees stated that Ghadge sought permission to leave for home from Sahai thrice. They charged that Sahai insulted officials and employees, including women, and even threatened to place them under suspension.