A debt-ridden barber, Barani, took his own life on Tuesday in Tharamani, Chennai as he was unable to pay the rent for his house and the shop. Relatives of the 38-year-old and members of Tamil Nadu Barber Workers Association staged a protest at the mortuary of Royapettah Government Hospital demanding compensation for his death on Wednesday.
According to his family, Barani was expecting that the government would relax the lockdown on May 4 and allow the barbers to resume to work. However, as the restriction on opening salons continued, Barani was dejected and struggled to make ends meet.
Informing his wife and mother, an upset Barani on Tuesday went to see his shop. However, when he failed to return after a long time, his mother went out to look for him. She saw the shutter of his shop partially closed, and when she went to investigate, she discovered that her son had taken his life.
The neighbours soon rushed to help and Baraniâ€™s body was sent to Royapettah Government Hospital by the police officers. A constable of the Tharamani police station said that they had registered a case under Section 174 of Code of Criminal Procedure for suicide.
On Wednesday, the hospital authorities called the family members for handing over the body. Baraniâ€™s kin and the Tamil Nadu Baber Workers Association members then staged a protest in front of the mortuary. They demanded that the government provide compensation to the barberâ€™s family.
â€śWe all stayed at our home since the government requested us to remain in our houses. Though we followed the governmentâ€™s order, we are yet to receive compensation for losing the working days. We are being pushed into poverty and even if the government doesnâ€™t give us relief, it should at least provide relief to Baraniâ€™s family,â€ť said Palani, a member of the Tamil Nadu Barber Workers Association.
Police officials rushed to the spot and pacified the protesting family members, after which they left the place with Baraniâ€™s body.