Telangana's Ruling TRS Under Pressure After Three Suicides

On April 14, BJP activist Sai Ganesh -- a resident of Khammam -- attempted suicide. He died on Saturday. The same day, Gangam Santosh and his mother Padma set themselves ablaze in Kamareddy, accusing local TRS leaders of harassment


Telangana's ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi has been pushed on the backfoot after two incidents of suicide. State minister KT Rama Rao who was to travel to Khammam on Monday reportedly preferred to postpone his trip amid widespread protests.

On April 14, BJP activist Sai Ganesh -- a resident of Khammam -- attempted suicide in front of a local police station after a case was filed against him for building a flag pole base without permission. When he had gone to lodge a complaint with the police, a local corporator's husband, Sai Prasanna, had demolished the flag pole base he built.

While being taken to hospital after he consumed pesticide, Sai Ganesh -- a driver -- alleged that "for no fault of his" 16 police cases have been filed against him at the behest of a minister, Puvvada Ajay Kumar and some other TRS leaders. He died at a hospital in Hyderabad on Saturday.

Sai Ganesh, who was also the district convenor for the Bharatiya Mazdoor Union, had multiple run-ins in the past with the minister. BJP leaders allege that cases were filed against Sai Ganesh for exposing alleged corruption through social media posts.

The same day, 35-year-old Gangam Santosh and his mother Padma set themselves ablaze at a lodge in Kamareddy after posting videos on Facebook, accusing TRS leaders in Ramayampet of harassment over the last 18 months.

In the videos, they named and put up photos of all the alleged perpetrators, including Ramayampet Municipal chairperson Palle Jitender Goud, five other TRS leaders and Circle Inspector Nagarjuna Reddy.

Breaking down multiple times, they said in their video: "At least after our death, please bring them to book and do justice".

In a long note, Santosh said he was "financially ruined" by the municipal and marketing yard chairpersons. The inspector, he alleged, had taken his phone in November 2020 (to investigate a case that was subsequently dismissed) and had stolen personal information. He passed on this information to others, who misused it, Santosh alleged.

The police have filed cases of abetment against all those named by the two. A senior police officer has been ordered to probe the allegations. "There are many allegations made. All of them need to be examined. We are collecting evidence. So no arrests have been made so far,'' Kamareddy SP Srinivas Reddy told NDTV.

Sai Ganesh was to get married next month and his grandmother blamed Telangana's transport minister Puvvada Ajay Kumar and another local leader, Sai Prasanna, against whom she has filed cases of abetment.

Leaders of the BJP and the Congress have demanded that a case of abetment be filed against Telangana minister Puvvada Ajay Kumar.  

State BJP president Bandi Sanjay, who is on his Praja Sangrama Yatra, tweeted that the party activist had died by suicide after being "harassed by Minister Puvvada Ajay, TRS goons and police in Khammam district".

"We demand that an attempt to murder case be filed against those responsible for death," his tweet read.