Woman who consumed poison in front of Union minister Joshi’s house, dies

Hubballi, April 10 (IANS) A woman who had attempted suicide by consuming poison outside the house of Union Minister Pralhad Joshi here on April 6 died at the Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), Hubballi.

According to the police, the deceased was identified as Sreedevi Veeranna Kammar, 31 years, a resident of Garag village in Dharwad taluk.

The police said that the deceased had consumed poison on April 6 and died at the hospital while undergoing treatment on Friday night.

A suicide note written in Kannada and recovered from her by the police stated that she lived with her ailing husband and two small children in Garag village and is desperately in need of compensation to repair her house that was damaged during the heavy rains in 2019.

The woman prior to consuming poison, had reportedly tried to meet the Union minister on a number of occasions but was not allowed to meet him despite several visits.

In her note she said that she wanted to get adequate compensation to repair her house that was damaged by floods in 2019, as the authorities had released only Rs 50000 compensation, while others in her village had received Rs 5 lakh each.

“I have been making several visits to the houses of MLA (Amrut Desai) and MP (Joshi), seeking compensation, but to no avail. I am forced to take a bath in the open as the toilet and bathroom in my house are damaged. I went all the way to Delhi, along with my family members, to meet the MP. We sent an email too. But they did not allow us to meet you (Joshi). I am unable to bear this humiliation and have decided to end my life, hence I’m consuming poison at your residence,” she stated in her note.

Expressing grief over the death of the woman, Pralhad Joshi said that no one should take such an extreme step. “I had spoken to the woman and directed the Deputy Commissioner (DC) to look at the compensation. The officer had said he’d do it but by then this had happened. The government has procedures and takes time,” he said.

Meanwhile, the district authorities informed that the woman’s family had been given a compensation of Rs 50,000 last January as per the rules, and her husband was drawing a monthly pension of Rs 1,400 (under the handicapped category), and the family has been given a ration card too.

Joshi had also clarified on April 6 that the family had already availed compensation of Rs 50,000 as their house comes under the C-category (based on the extent of damage). However, after the chief minister announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for damaged houses in 2020, the family had sought compensation for the second time.

“Two months back, I referred her application to the district authorities for verification. But unfortunately, she tried to end her life,” Joshi stated on April 6.

The woman in the suicide note said the amount wasn’t sufficient for the reconstruction of her damaged house.