Indian worker’s suicide sparks strike threat

June 30th, 2008 - 6:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Dubai, June 30 (IANS) Around 2,000 workers in a Bahraini contracting and construction company have threatened to go on strike following the reported suicide of an Indian worker. Vinod Kumar, 32, committed suicide while in police custody by choking himself Saturday, two days after a delay in paperwork stalled his return to India, local media reports said.

Now, around 2,000 workers in the Ahmed Mansoor Al A’ali company, where Kumar worked, have threatened to go on strike in protest against the way in which the company handled the case.

“It was obvious he was depressed and yet no attempt was made to help him,” one of the workers told the Bahrain Tribune.

“The company is not providing us with any medical assistance in our accommodation and with over 2,500 workers staying in this place it is important,” he alleged, adding that the company had not informed Kumar’s family in India regarding his death.

Kumar, who hailed from Kozhikode in Kerala, leaves behind his mother, wife and an 18-month-old son.

According to reports, Kumar was found wandering in a dazed state last Wednesday in a Bahrain locality, a day prior to his scheduled departure.

His friends said he even called up some of them saying that he wanted to commit suicide.

Later they came to know that the police had taken him into custody.

According to another report in the Gulf Daily News, Kumar was detained at the Riffa Police Station for his own safety as he had tried to commit suicide by making a suicidal dash through moving traffic Wednesday. That was the first of the three suicide attempts he made.

After he choked himself with a piece of cloth Saturday in his cell at the police station, he was taken to a hospital where he died four hours later.

Meanwhile, Hussain Al Nasser, administrative manager in Ahmed Mansoor Al A’ali, told the Gulf Daily News that the company handed over Kumar’s air ticket to the police.

“According to police instructions, we handed over an air ticket to the authorities on Thursday because he was scheduled to fly that same day,” he was quoted as saying.

“But he couldn’t because legal formalities were not over,” he said, adding that the company was informed about Kumar’s death Saturday.

According to Al Nasser, Kumar was not behaving normally and showed suicidal tendencies for the last one week.

“We learned from other workers that he was saying things that were contradictory and made no sense… He never got violent. He was a quiet and good worker - we have no idea what the problem was,” he said.

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