'Govt apathy' towards women leads to suicide

HT, 29th August 2000

Frustrated by the 'indifferent attitude' of the Government towards women and the downtrodden, Bharatiya Republican Party-Bahujan Mahasangh leader Asha Ramteke allegedly committed suicide here on Sunday.

Police said she was suffering from acute depression. But the doctor who had been treating her said that she had recovered and did not show signs of depression anymore. Ms Ramteke left behind a suicide note expressing pain over the atrocities inflicted on women. She has also requested the police not to harass her family members or party workers.

She specifically mentioned the case of Tikambai, who was allegedly stripped and forced to walk naked. According to police records, Tikambai was killed a few weeks ago on suspicion that she was practising witchcraft.

Another woman mentioned in the suicide note, Savita Neware, was also killed in the same manner. According to Ramteke, Neware's killers were still at large. She also expressed her anger against those who tried to damage Ambedkar's statue here in 1998 as well as the subsequent suicide by one Tarachand Sahare. Ramteke mentioned in her note that she had given a memorandum to senior officials to expedite the investigation. But nothing had been done so far in this matter, she wrote.

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