Dalit woman attempts self-immolation in MP CM's presence



Betul (MP): A Dalit woman today made an unsuccessful attempt to immolate herself at a function where Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan was present.

The incident took place in Bhainsdehi town, where Chouhan was taking part in district-level 'Antyodaya Mela' (an event highlighting various government schemes for the poor), official sources said.

Geeta Bele, wife of Sukhlal Bele, a teacher at government school at Dhamangaon, was apparently upset over disparities in service conditions of teaching staff.

She wanted to give a memorandum to the Chief Minister highlighting issues like same-work-same-pay, disparities in pay scales and implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations, among others.

When she was prevented to do so, Geeta doused herself with kerosene and tried to self-immolate. Alert policewomen present at the spot overpowered and took her away, they said.

She was taken to a nearby community health centre for medical examination. Police recorded the couple's statements and allowed them to go.

Geeta later told reporters that she wanted to submit a memorandum to Chouhan drawing his attention towards disparities in service conditions of government teachers and demand salary as per Sixth Pay Commission, among other issues.

PTI