P Rajesh, a Vizag SBI Branch Manager, was allegedly denied leave even after he tested positive for coronavirus.

Pitta Rajesh the SBI bank manager in Vizag who succumbed to COVID-19 wearing a white shirt and smiling at the cameraPitta Rajesh
Coronavirus Controversy Wednesday, September 16, 2020 - 13:45

Five days after Pitta Rajesh, Branch Manager of State Bank of India’s (SBI) AL Puram branch in Vizag, succumbed to COVID-19, his family is struggling to come to terms with the loss. TNM had reported Rajesh’s story yesterday about how despite repeated requests for leave, even after he tested positive for COVID-19, his pleas were allegedly ignored by his seniors at SBI.

Speaking to TNM, Rajesh’s brother-in-law G Chandrakumar said Rajesh’s wife is still in a state of shock. He said, “She's in a state of depression. She's struggling to come to terms with the loss. She is presently in home isolation as she has also tested positive for coronavirus.”

Fondly remembering Rajesh, Chandrakumar said, “My brother-in-law was a very simple and good human being. He was married to my sister for the last six years. Not even once have we had any issue because of him. He not only took care of my sister very well, he also supported his in-laws just like how he cared for his own mother.”  

When asked whether there was any word from SBI officials, Chadrakumar said, “So far, we haven’t heard from any officials from SBI. We are disappointed that they haven’t reached out to us. The SBI officer’s association has been in touch with us and they have been a great support during this testing time. Today, I received a call to inform me that some officials from SBI Hyderabad are likely to visit us today.”

On Tuesday, the family members met with the SP of Visakhapatnam Rural and submitted a complaint about Rajesh’s death. The SP conveyed to the family that there was no law and order violation in this case. He has assured the family that he would write to SBI for action to be taken.

“My sister was a housewife. She now has no source of livelihood. Our father gets a very small amount as pension and he wouldn’t be able to fend for her. We request SBI to provide my sister with a job so that she can take care of herself”, added Chandrakumar.

The SBI Officers Association has alleged that his managers are responsible for Rajesh’s death. The association believes that timely action of sanctioning leave could have saved Rajesh’s life. The association has also mentioned in the letter, “The death revelations of Com Rajesh are disgusting, dreadful and have left the whole banking community to shock (sic).”

Hours after TNM put out the tragic story about how Pitta Rajesh was not granted leave despite multiple requests, The Deputy Managing Director SBI issued a fresh advisory asking the laid down guidelines and SOPs to be strictly followed by all employees. They reiterated that leave should be sanctioned to anyone requesting for the same.


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