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Cab driver ends life accusing police of 'harassment,' probe


Press Trust of India Chennai
A taxi driver's selfie video before he ended his life accusing police of harrasing him and citing it as the reason for his suicide surfaced in social media days after his death, prompting the authorities to initiate a probe.
Chennai Police Commissioner A K Viswanathan, however, told PTI Thursday that a senior officer has been appointed to look into the claims made in the video and report within a week.
In the nearly four-minute video, mid-aged Rajesh Murthy before he killed himself last week by falling in front of a train here accused Chennai police officers of harassing and abusing him on flimsy grounds on various occasions.
"Police verbally abused me in the presence of a woman customer (occupant) when I had parked my vehicle in parking zone. Yesterday when I sleeping inside my car, parked on service road, the police tried to lock and tow away my car and demanded money," Murthy said.
According to a senior official in the government railway police, Murthy allegedly committed suicide near suburban Maraimalai Nagar railway station.
Aged around 25, Murthy is a cab driver attached to a taxi aggregator.
Elaborating on the ordeals faced by cab drivers, he said, "we are making a livelihood despite several hardships. Chennai police is responsible for my death, none else."

Murthy also alleged that authorities did not take any action on issues faced by drivers like him.
"In Taramani, a person died similarly, was any action taken?.... I should be the last person to die (due to harassment)," Murthy said.
The commissioner said, "We have ordered an inquiry as we do not know the veracity of the claim. Even from his own statement, that did not warrant committing suicide. From whatever he said, it could have been reported to any of us and we would have taken action."

"We will see that was a true incident or had any other motive to commit suicide. If it is a true incident we will take action," Viswanathan said.

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First Published: Jan 31 2019 | 10:30 PM IST

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