MLA held over school headmaster’s suicide in India

The deceased had alleged that the MLA had tortured him for rejecting his demand for commission on Rs20 million sanctioned from the MLA fund for constructing the school building towards the CPM party fund.



By T K Devasia

Published: Sat 28 Feb 2015, 2:02 AM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 8:48 PM

Trivandrum — Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) legislator James Mathew was on Friday arrested in connection with the suicide of a school headmaster in his constituency of Taliparampa in Kerala’s northen district of Kannur.

Mathew was named as second accused in the case as his name figured in the suicide note left behind by E P Sasidharan, Headmaster of Tagore Vidyanikethan, Taliparampa, along with that of one of his school colleagues. The other accused V M Shaji was arrested on February 17. Sasidharan, who ended his life by hanging himself to death in a hotel room in Kasargode on December 14, 2014, blamed the legislator and his colleague responsible for his death in the suicide note recovered by the police. Shaji, who is a member of the pro-CPM Kerala School Teachers Association (KSTA), is now in judicial custody.

The deceased had alleged that the MLA had tortured him for rejecting his demand for commission on Rs20 million sanctioned from the MLA fund for constructing the school building towards the CPM party fund. 

The MLA denied the charge. He said there was no scope for demanding commission from the headmaster as the fund for the construction of the building was handled by the Public Works Department.

Moreover, Sasidharan had no role in the matter as the building was meant for the Higher Secondary School, which is headed by a separate Principal.

He said that the headmaster had included his name in the suicide note due to some misunderstanding.

Somebody misguided him on a submission he made in the assembly about the school, the MLA said adding that he had talked to him only once.

Mathew was arrested after he surrendered before the Sreekandapuram police following rejection of his petition for anticipatory bail by the Kerala high court. Though the notice for appearing before the police was served on him on February 19, he kept on seeking more time on various grounds.

The police took steps to slap charges under section 306 of Indian Penal Code (abetting suicide) only after public protest gathered momentum.


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