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  1. It seems cases of suicide and fratricide are posing a bigger threat to the security forces than militants in the country. According to the latest statistics, more security personnel have died in such incidents than in militant attacks since January this year. In response to an RTI filed by Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Societies, a non-governmental organisation, 24 jawans have killed themselves either by suicide or fratricide as compared to 15 killed in encounters with the terrorists across J&K. The security establishment is finding it hard to tackle this menace despite several measures to reduce incidents of suicide and fratricide. As the Valley is heading for normalcy and peace, strategists find the trend alarming. Read more: Suicides and fratricides pose bigger threat to soldiers' lives than militants | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis
  2. 'Harassment' drives RTI activist to suicide: Right to information and right to life, both seem to have been casualties of corruption and abuse of power in Nanded district last week. The police are investigating the possible role of a health department official in pushing a young right-to-information activist from Mukhed, some 75 km from Nanded, to suicide. Jaipal Chavan, a government hospital superintendent, was named in the suicide note of Shivam Jankuatar (24) for having brought the activist “social shame by lodging a false criminal complaint against me”. On Wednesday morning Jankuatar handed the note to people at the local taluka office and consumed poison on the premises. "The note maintains that Chavan had lodged a false case because Jankutuar was attempting to expose corruption by asking the official for copies of expenditure bills under the Right to Information Act,” district Superintendent of Police (SP) Vijay Singhal said. "On September 22 the local police had booked Jankutuar for extortion after receiving a complaint from Chavan.” State Information Commissioner Suresh Joshi said a report had been sought on the incident from authorities in Nanded, which is about 650 km from the city. "I don’t have any details on the case yet, but the commission has asked for a report from the district administration," Joshi said. “If there is evidence of any violation under the Right to Information Act by local officials, or of the person being harassed because of using the act, then we will take up the matter with the government,” he added. The district civil surgeon was unavailable for comment. SP Singhal said the extreme step of suicide was mysterious, and the police were also inquiring into the kind of information Jankutuar had sought. “If he had suspected corruption, he could have approached the local police, and they would have lodged a case under the law. It is still not clear why he went to the extent of taking his life," Singhal said. The state leads the country in putting to use the two-year-old sunshine law, with over 400 right to information applications each day probing hitherto opaque government processes. But a senior district official, speaking on condition of anonymity for protocol reasons, maintained that attempts to extort officials on the basis of incriminating information extricated under the RTI law were not uncommon, especially in rural offices. "As an appellate authority in Nanded, I have heard cases where the appellant using the law has arrived at a settlement with the official, and withdrawn his request for information at the hearing," he said. Chitrangada Choudhury, Hindustan Times, Mumbai, October 02, 2007 'Harassment' drives RTI activist to suicide- Hindustan Times
  3. As reported by ENS in expressindia.com on 05 June 2008: Troubles galore for IIT-K over suicides - ExpressIndia.Com Troubles galore for IIT-K over suicides Kanpur, June 4 The Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-K) authorities may soon find themselves in a soup over the growing number of suicides in the campus. The institute has seen two fresh suicides over the last two months. And while in one case, they face an RTI query, the other may end in the filing of a criminal case against them. The man contemplating a criminal case is Sunder Lal Kureel — father of Prashant Kureel, who committed suicide on April 18. And following the recent suicide of Toya Chatterjee, Omendra Bharat, an IIT alumnus and chief Bharat Punarnirman Dal (BPD), has moved a plea under Right To Information Act. A first year BTech student, Kureel had hanged himself in his hostel room. His father holds the IIT-K authorities responsible. Demanding a CBI inquiry on the issue, he said that mental stress along with ragging and prevailing casteism was responsible for his son’s death. “The IIT-K authorities are not going to mend their ways and it will result to more suicides in the future,” Kureel told The Indian Express. The prevailing faulty system of administration was responsible for the high number of suicides, said Kureel, who is a regional director in the Office of National Savings Institute, Ministry of Finance. “After attending an official meeting in New Delhi on June 6, I will return to Kanpur and file a criminal case against the IIT-K authorities.” He said he has already chalked out the procedure with his advocate. “I have decided to raise my voice against the IIT-K authorities so some lives can be saved.” The RTI plea of Bharat is the other concern for the institute authorities. He has questioned the criteria of grading the students in semester exams. His contention is also that action is required against teachers if a large number of their students are getting F-grade (fail). Another important point included is regarding the Feedback Form filled by students at the end of each semester. “Has any action ever been initiated against any teacher on basis of the Feedback Form?” Bharat asked. He pointed out that though Toya was a brilliant student, no one is aware why she failed two semester exams. “She had cleared the CAT exams and had secured 1,570 marks out of 1,600 in the Graduate Record Examination, which indicates about her educational skills,” he said. “I too have suffered due to the poor grading system. One grade down means a reduction of 20 per cent mark in a subject at IIT-K,” he said. “In other IITs, a lower grade means a 10 per cent reduction.”
  4. RTI helps family to fight fraud daughter-in-law as reported in Pune Mirror by Chaitraly Deshmukh, September 30, 2010 In 2007, Tejashree Mahesh Kalge, a bank employee consumed poison and tried to commit suicide alleging harassment from her in-laws. Her father Haribhau Prabhavalkar, former deputy mayor of Kolhapur, filed a case against his daugther’s in-laws. After this, Tejashree’s in-laws were in jail for 21 days. Upon their return from jail, they noticed that their house was ransacked and jewellery was missing. Following this, Tejashree’s in-laws rushed to the police station, but the police refused to file it. In the meanwhile, the family was relieved from Tejashree’s first case of abetment to suicided filed against them. The Kalge family had to run pillar to post for two long years to get an FIR filed and it was only after they found out, through a Right to Information (RTI) petition, that the doctor who examined Tejashree and issued a medical certificate at the time of her suicide attempt was an Ayurvedic practitioner, who cannot issue these certificates. The Kalge family then filed a private case through their lawyer in February this year. Finally, on September 18, the Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Rajan Gunjekar directed the police to file a case against Tejashree Mahesh Kalge, her parents, relatives, two doctors and some 20 people in all. Additionally, Tejashree’s father-in-law Subhanrao (70) and his married daughter Meera (36) have filed a case of molestation against Tejashree, her father Haribhau and the doctors who examined her. On Tuesday, the Chinchwad police filed a case of rioting, dacoity, filing a false case, punishment for robbery, criminal conspiracy, assault, roiting, wrongful restraint, molestation, attempt to suicide, fabricating evidence in a judicial proceeding, house trespassing and criminal intimidation against the 20 accused. Subhanrao says, “We have been running around to file a case for the last two years. We even approached the District General of Police of Maharashtra, who even directed the police to lodge a case, but nothing was done. So, we had to file a private case through our lawyer Sanjay Kadu.” Subhanrao recalls, “On December 20, 2007, Tejashree consumed poison and soon my wife took her to a private hospital and informed us. What made her take that step is still unclear. Later the police came and arrested us. We were in jail for 21 days. We don’t want revenge, but our name has been tarnished and we want to know the truth.” Explaining how RTI helped him, Subhanrao added, “We learnt from the forensic department that not even an inch of poison was found in her body. Her reports were normal. The police took no time to arrest us, but now they haven’t made a single arrest.” Inspector incharge of Chinchwad police Mahesh Joshi said, “Till now, we have not made any arrests but are investigating all possible angles.” When contacted Tejashree flatly denied the allegations. RTI helps family to fight fraud daughter-in-law, News - City - Pune Mirror,Pune Mirror
  5. Mobile phones, internet lead to students' suicides - IIT AS reported in IndiaEduNews, June 29, 2008 Lucknow: The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur (IIT-K) has blamed constant use of mobile phones and enormous internet surfing by the students for increasing number of suicides on the campus, officials said. In a reply to a Right to Information (RTI) application filed on June 2 by the institute's alumni association, the premier institute said that as students are in regular touch with their family members, friends and relatives, several thoughts occupy them. This in turn, at times, disturbs the students, who do not get peaceful time to study. And later, they take the extreme step for not performing well in the exams. Earlier, when the mobile phones were not so popular, the students were not able to stay in touch with their families and hence got time to study, officials said. Also, internet surfing exposes the students to several sites having information that can cause a negative impact on the minds, leading students to suicides, officials added. In another reply about the number of suicides, IIT-K said that till date six students of the institute have committed suicide. Omendra Bharat, an IIT alumni, filed the RTI application to seek information on 14 issues, including the academic norms fixed for preparing the semester result of the students. The RTI application was filed following the suicide by a student, Ritika Toya Chatterjee. She killed herself on May 30 after she failed in two of her final semester exams, despite having offers to join any of the six Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs). "Information regarding the semester grading of students and Ritika's grading is still to be provided along with the reply of twelve other questions we filed through RTI," said Bharat. IANS Mobile phones, internet lead to students' suicides - IIT, IIT News - By Indiaedunews.net
  6. As reported in asianage.com on 24 February 2008: The Asian Age - Enjoy the difference Suicide by 800 farmers early ’07 New Delhi, Feb. 24: More than 800 farmers committed suicide in the first six months of last year, as per information obtained under the RTI Act. The agrarian crisis forced 607 farmers to commit suicide in Maharashtra, 114 in Andhra Pradesh, 73 in Karnataka and 13 cases of suicide were reported from Kerala in the first half of last year alone, the information revealed. Some states ruled by the Opposition NDA such as Punjab and Gujarat had failed to furnish details about the number of suicides by farmers to the Union agriculture ministry. States like Orissa, Sikkim, Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Goa and Haryana and five Union territories did not report any case of farmer suicide during the period, according to government records. The Union government, as part of its rehabilitation package for the affected farmers, has disbursed Rs 9,650 crores in 16 districts of Andhra Pradesh, Rs 2,389.64 crores in six districts of Karnataka, Rs 765.24 crores in three districts of Kerala and Rs 3,879.26 crores in six districts of Maharashtra in this connection.
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