Peon returning from South East Central Railway officer’s home dies in accident

Nagpur (NGP): Misuse of official staff for private and personal work at bungalows by railway officials seems to be continuing unabated at both Central Railway and South East Central Railway (SECR) Nagpur divisions. Time and again it was highlighted but the practice goes on unchecked. On Sunday night, an office peon posted with Divisional Personnel Officer (DPO) of SECR was knocked dead by an unidentified car on Sadar police station road around 10.45pm. The victim M Vishwanathan Bhatlu (26) was a native of Thadivalasa village in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh. He was returning after work at the official bungalow of HP Tripathi, deputy chief engineer (construction), SECR, near Providence High School, opposite VCA ground.

Though Bhatlu had been with Tripathi for several years working as bungalow peon, eight months ago he got a regular posting as office peon with DPO’s office. Eyebrows are being raised now about how an office peon worked at the bungalow and whether it will be considered as death of employee on official duty. Tripathi told the victim met a tragic end while returning to his servant quarter from his bungalow. “Though posted as a peon, I had not released him. He could continue with me for five years,” said Tripathi.

Tripathi added Bhatlu was a good worker and being a regular employee would get all the benefits a railway employee gets.

When reached Bhatlu’s quarter, his colleagues and friends said the victim used to perform household chores at Tripathi’s bungalow from morning till night. They said he was being exploited. However, Tripathi denied the charge. Relatives of Bhatlu were crestfallen. The victim lay dead on the road for a long time until Sadar police shifted his body to IGGMC. Next day when Bhatlu did not return to work at the bungalow, a search was launched by his relatives.

It was only when a missing complaint was about to be lodged that the SECR came to know about Bhatlu’s death. His body was shifted by his relatives to his native place on Tuesday evening by Dakshin Express. (Courtesy: TOI)