A month after a man committed suicide by jumping from the fifth floor of Mantralaya, the state Secretariat in south Mumbai, a 56-year-old labourer today tried to end his life outside the building, police said.
Gulab Maruti Shingari, hailing from Beed district in drought-prone Marathwada region, claimed he decided to end his life as the “police patil” in his village tried to usurp his land, a police official said.
The duties of a police patil include reporting a crime in the village to the police station and is governed by the Maharashtra Village Police Act.
When Shingari, who works as a labourer in Nashik, doused himself with kerosene outside the Mantralaya building this afternoon, police personnel present on the spot intervened and prevented his suicide bid, the official said.
Shingari has been detained by police and further investigation into the matter is underway, the official said.
This is the latest in a series of such incidents in and near Mantralaya.
Last month, a 45-year-old man committed suicide by jumping from the fifth floor of Mantralaya, after which the BJP-led state government set up a safety net covering the open space on the first floor of the seven-storey building.
On February 8, Harshal Raote, a murder convict on parole, jumped to death from the fifth floor, days after a 32-year-old unemployed man attempted suicide outside the building.
On January 22, 84-year-old Dhule farmer Dharma Patil consumed poison in Mantralaya premises, demanding adequate compensation for his land, which had been acquired by the government for a solar power project. He died in hospital on January 28.
Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said setting up a safety net would turn Mantralaya into a circus.
“The government must think of the reasons behind people taking such an extreme step. Why do desperate people come here? The administration at the ground level is not working properly, neither is it solving issues. This needs to be taken care of. Setting up a safety net will not serve the purpose,” the Congress leader said.