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Family of man who immolated himself seeks justice

The family of a man who immolated himself to protest against non-payment of bills due to him by the Bihar government are to approach// the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for justice.

Manoj Mishra, in his 30s, sustained about 80 percent burns after setting fire to his clothes in front of the Gaya Dairy project in Gaya Aug 15, saying the company was not paying him his dues totaling Rs.200,000

Mishra succumbed to his injuries in a hospital in Patna, leaving behind his wife Poonam and four children.

His family, still in shock, is hurt by the government's insensitive attitude. The administration has refused to provide any help to them.

"Officials not only challenged the claims made by my father, they also accused him of blackmailing them," Prabhakar, Manoj's son, told IANS. He said they would knock the doors of NHRC for justice.

No senior official has reportedly visited Manoj's grieving family to offer their condolences, five days since he set himself on fire.

"They did not bother to visit the family even as a matter of courtesy," complained S.B. Bhaskar, a social activist in Gaya, about 100 km from here.

On Thursday, Manoj's wife and children threatened to commit suicide if the state government failed to provide adequate compensation.

"It is the government's turn to help us because my father died due to the irresponsible attitude of the dairy authorities," the son said.

According to him, his father had warned the manager of the Gaya dairy that he would immolate himself but nothing was done to clear his dues.

Added Prabhakar: "We have documents to substantiate my father's claim that the dairy company owed him Rs.200,000."

However, U.C. Verma, an officer at the Gaya dairy project, denied the company owed the dead man any money.


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