Job aspirant’s death triggers Statewide protests


Thiruvananthapuram

The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday sought to portray the suspected suicide of a government job aspirant, S. Anu, 28, in Neyyattinkara as a grim symbol of the State’s ‘apathy’ towards unemployed youth.

Anu was found hanging in his room. The police recovered a note, which attributed the ‘suicide’ to joblessness.

The BJP staged a protest with the mortal remains of S. Anu, 28, near Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s official residence at the Cliff House.

Congress and BJP workers organised belligerent street protests in Kollam, Kottayam and Kozhikode. In Thiruvananthapuram, they tried to scale the Secretariat fence and pull down the police barricade at the gate. The police retaliated by training pressurised water jets on them.

Matters came to a head when news broke that Anu was eligible for posting as Civil Excise Officer in Thiruvananthapuram and that the Public Service Commission (PSC) had ranked him 77th in the rank-list.

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala visited Anu’s house and said government indifference had cost the youth his life. The Excise department had appointed 72 persons from the list. Anu failed to make the cut because the department had not reported the remaining eight vacancies to the PSC before the legal duration of the rank-list expired in June.

(The Excise department said the PSC had recommended the employment of 72 persons on the list. The Department had appointed them. It reported job vacancies punctually.)

Congress and the BJP said Anu’s plight reflected the stark reality of life for thousands of unemployed youth in Kerala. The organisations threatened a season of agitations against the government and the PSC in September.

The demonstrations unfolded as a counter-narrative to Mr Vijayan’s Onam eve promise to throw off the despondency induced by the COVID-19 pandemic by fast-tracking development and expanding social welfare schemes.

In contrast to Mr Vijayan’s message of optimism, the Opposition sought to depict a dystopian state of affairs and a gloomy future in the final year of the LDF rule.

It alleged that backdoor appointments were the norm and private consultancies had usurped government jobs.

BJP State president K. Surendran held the government responsible for Anu’s death. He demanded in Kozhikode that the police charge Mr. Vijayan and the PSC chairman for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

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