Yogendra Kalavalapalli

HYDERABAD: Locked terrace doors and stepped up security greeted Satyamites as they began arriving for work on Friday morning. Shortly before the list of Satyam associates under the company’s ‘Virtual Pool’ programme was out, some Satyam campuses were literally swarming with private security guards.

No, the company did not fear a rebellion of sorts but was just being on guard. According to the company’s associates, its top honchos wanted to leave nothing to chance and be in the news for bad reasons.

“When I went to the cafeteria to have some coffee, I noticed two security guards posted there, which was unusual. The terrace was also locked,” one Satyamite told The Hindu on condition of anonymity. “Apparently they feared suicide attempts by those included in the ‘Virtual Pool’ programme,” he remarked.

“They were even posted outside the toilets,” the associate revealed.

“The company knew the repercussions of such an exercise. They seem to be saying, we presume that you will be suicidal. But don’t do it in the office,” remarked another associate.

At some campuses like Satyam Technology Centre in Bahadurpally, City Centre in Begumpet and Harsha Towers in Kharkhana where many benchers were based, nearly 60 to 80 per cent of the associates were reportedly asked to go on the sabbatical. According to a Satyam spokeswoman, as many as 10,000 Satyam associates were included in the programme.