Protesting the Narendra Modi government’s decision to privatise the ‘profit-making’ Dredging Corporation of India Limited (DCIL), the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has blamed it for forcing a worker, Venkatesh, 29, to commit suicide on December 4 in Visakhapatnam.

“In a suicide note, Venkatesh, the lone bread winner for his family of two sisters and parents, has accused the Modi government for its decision to privatise DCIL and the local BJP MP and MLA for their refusal to intervene as the reason for his frustration and suicide,” CITU Secretary Swadesh Dev Roye said in a statement.

Roye said Venkatesh was part of the delegation that met the local BJP MLA and MP and urged them to intervene, but “both of them refused on the ground that the Central government had already taken a decision to privatise DCIL.”

In a release, CITU noted that the financial performance of DCIL was “excellent” as it was earning profit, generating huge assets, including liquidity. The company has been maintaining the country’s national maritime and navigational facilities of waterways, offering “yeoman” services to all major and minor ports, and has also expanded its services beyond the country’s borders, thereby earning precious foreign exchange, it added.

“Handing over DCIL to private business is a criminal compromise…and is yet another instance of transferring a national asset to private capital by the corporate captive Modi government,” Roye said.

Demanding adequate compensation and employment to one member of the family of the deceased, CITU demanded reversal of the privatisation of DCIL, and offered full support to the ongoing agitation by DCIL executives and workers.