A vegetable vendor in India committed suicide after receiving an exorbitant electricity bill

A vegetable vendor in India committed suicide after receiving an exorbitant electricity bill

  • Jagannath Shelke received an outrageous electricity bill of ₹8,75,830 for the consumption of 55,519 units in April.
  • A section engineer punched incorrect meter readings, as 61,178 KWH instead of 6,117.8 KWH.
  • The 40-year-old victim lived in a tiny 2-room tin shed with his family.
A vegetable vendor in India reportedly resorted to suicide after receiving an exorbitant electricity bill. When Jagannath Shelke received an outrageous electricity bill of ₹8,75,830 for the consumption of 55,519 units in April, he couldn't cope with the pressure and decided to end his life. The 40-year-old lived in a tiny 2-room tin shed in the Bharatnagar in Aurangabad, a small city in the western Indian state of Maharashtra, with his family.

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According to the police, he left a suicide note claiming the bill was the reason he hung himself from the ceiling fan. An officer from the Garkheda police station told The Hindu, “The deceased was apparently under severe stress after getting a bill with such figures. He pinned a note to his body saying he was extremely distressed with the humongous electricity bill and hence was forced to take his own life. We are in the process of lodging a complaint.”

The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) released a statement saying the section engineer at its Garkheda station punched incorrect meter readings, as 61,178 KWH instead of 6,117.8 KWH. This lead to the generation of the inflated bill. The MSEDCL claims it has fired the billing clerk responsible for the error.
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Apparently, on receiving the bill, the distraught vegetable vendor approached the MSEDCL authorities but was ignored and asked to pay up. The victim’s family have now refused to take possession of the body and have asked for a case to be lodged against the electricity board. The police have registered a case of accidental death for now.
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