David Praveen, aged 45, who worked for Wipro in Hyderabad lost his job 4 months back. As he was not getting salary for 4 months, the financial pressure mounted and he was not able to pay rent and school fees of his 2 kids. He joined a new firm but unfortunately the new firm did not pay him salary on time. The financial crisis made him make a very bad decision of robbing a bank.
As per Toi, he wore a burkha and entered Karur Vysya bank at Manikonda at around 3:30 pm. After entering the branch, he approached the cashier and pulled out a toy gun, threatening to kill the employee if money was not handed over to him. He was also reported to be carrying a dummy bomb and toilet cleaner and threatened people showing it as acid. The suspect beat the cashier Shiva Shankar and robbed Rs 2.5 lakh cash and ran out. But, people followed him and pelted stones at him. David then threatened to hurl the ‘bomb’ at people chasing him, but the unrelenting mob continued to pelt stones at him, causing head injury. Around 200 meters from the bank, David hid himself behind a car and people surrounded him and pinned him down. Later they handed him over to police. A case of robbery was registered against the accused under Section 392 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) based on a complaint by the branch manager of the bank. Police took David to Hospital and doctors had to put eight stitches to stop bleeding. He told police that till four months ago he worked at Wipro office in Hyderabad as Assistant Manager.
A few months back, we reported 2 incidents where sacked employees attacked Human resource officers in 2 different incidents in Chennai and Gurgaon . There is an article in the Tamil magazine Vikatan which reported statistics of 8000 IT employees committing suicide in IT industry in Tamilnadu alone in the last 5 year. We in our website also covered various techie suicide news. We feel all these news are interlinked and root cause of all these problems is illegal, unfair and sudden job loss.
In the case of David, it is unfortunate that many people cross this news as funny one as he used a dummy bomb, toilet cleaner as acid and toy gun as pistol. They also may criticize that people are doing this by seeing popular movies and they should be punished severely to stop such incident in future. But what we are going to do to address the root cause of this issue?
Definitely as part of NDLF, we are not supporting any of these incidents. The action of David is punishable by law and he is already behind bars. The crime is severe as he attempted to rob a bank and chances are high that he will get imprisonment of several years for this crime.
I will put myself in David family shoes and explore the future for them. They are already in a critical situation where they don’t have any money to pay rent and school fees. They will not be able to spend more for lawyer fees to get legal support for David. Financial crisis will become worse for them as David is not going to be with them for several years now. His kids will have their name tagged in their schools that they are the kids of bank robber. The impact it is going to cause is quite high and makes their situation even worse.
David was an assistant manager before 4 months and he would have never expected this situation till sometime back. He is also our fellow IT colleague who worked in our IT industry. I talked with one of his friend who knows a little about him. He was a voice and accent trainer who worked initially with IBM back in 2013. He also plays drums for a rock band.
If he is not able to manage even 4 months of job loss and took such extreme step, definitely this portrays how cruel layoffs are. The IT industry gives everything to its employees. The salary structure is slightly higher compare to any other sector. It helps employee to have upper middle class life and they adapt to a better living style. So sudden job loss will make things collapse. As I mentioned before, it is very difficult for a person to lose his sight in the middle rather than a person who lost it in childhood.
We again repeat affected employees to contact us for any help instead of taking any extreme decisions. We as part of our NDLF union has saved several hundred jobs directly and indirectly. We will counsel and provide physiological/legal advices to overcome this situation.
We want to reiterate that IT companies should understand the pain of affected employees by various incidents happening due to layoffs. We want to convey to human resource officers about their role of creating impact to the society. So they should explore options to reduce the impact and alternative options to improve profits instead of reducing head count.
Working IT employees also should focus on improving their financial situation. As per current situation, layoff can happen to any IT employee and financial planning only will make them strong in meeting their crisis situation. They will explore options to improve their financial options by various investment options or alternative earning ways which help them on crisis situation.
We are trying to collect more information about David and fellow IT employees who know David can contact us and can send the details they know about David. We feel David should be provided with proper counselling and will provide support for his legal proceedings. Definitely we again reiterate that we in no matter support David actions here but we feel he has the right to put his side in court.
We also request IT employees if they come across any people who are targeted for layoffs, you recommend them to contact our union. We can provide support in whatever way possible from our side to face the crisis situation instead of them going to such harsh decision.
– Shyam Sundar, President,
NDLF IT Employees Wing
Read the book “IT Employees Life – Fun or Problems?” by NDLF IT Employees Wing President Shyam Sundar