Sambalpur Univ contractual employee succumbs to burn injuries

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Sambalpur (Odisha), Apr 21 (PTI) A contractual employee of Sambalpur University who suffered severe burn injuries after he allegedly set himself on fire outside the office of the institute's vice-chancellor succumbed to injuries, police said on Wednesday.

Dinabandhu Mishra allegedly set himself on fire outside the office of the VC on Tuesday morning and succumbed to burn injuries on Tuesday evening while being shifted to SCB Medical College Hospital, Cuttack, the police said.

The employees of the varsity on Wednesday staged a demonstration in front of the administrative building of the varsity with the body of Dinabandhu and demanded Rs 15 lakh compensation for the family of the deceased, job for the son of the deceased besides legal action against the officials responsible behind the incident.

According to the employees of the varsity, Dinabandhu had been working as a contractual employee in the varsity for more than 22 years. However, his job was not regularised by the varsity. Though he had brought the matter to the notice of the varsity authorities several times, no one paid heed to his grievance, which led Dinabandhu to take the extreme step.

Dinabandhu Mishra's advocate, Manoj Mohanty claimed that court had given direction to regularise the job of Dinabandhu in 2017. However, the varsity authorities did not take any steps. Later, Dinabandhu filed a contempt petition and in November 18, 2020, the high court again directed to settle the issue within two months after receiving the order.

The matter of Dinabandhu was not discussed in any of the syndicate meetings, he alleged.

Sambalpur Superintendent of Police (SP), B Gangadhar and sub-collector, Mayur Suryawanshi rushed to the spot to discuss with the agitating employees. A meeting of agitating employees with the registrar of the varsity, Sitaram Patel was also held in presence of SP and the sub-collector in the evening, following which the agitation was withdrawn.

The Registrar said Rs 5 lakh was given to the family members of the deceased. Moreover, a decision has also been taken to absorb deceased Dinabandhu's son as an outsourced employee in the varsity. This apart, an urgent syndicate meeting will be convened on Thursday and other demands of the agitating employees will also be discussed there, he said.

The police have registered a case under section 306 of IPC (Abetment of suicide) against the varsity authority based on the complaint lodged by Dinabandhu' son, Abhisekh Mishra.

'The matter is under investigation now,' said sub- divisional police officer (SDPO), Burla, S Dash. PTI COR AAM RG RG