Kozhikode: A 57-year-old farmer committed suicide outside a government office in Kozhikode alleging harassment by its staff, triggering outrage following which two officials were suspended.
The body of Kaavilpurayidathil Joy was found hanging outside the village administrative office at Chembanod on Wednesday night. Joy approached the office staff to remit his land tax several times in the last 18 months, but the officials always denied his request, citing some reason or the other.
He went to the VAO Wednesday to remit the tax but was turned away again by the officials, who said the land owned by him was a disputed one.
Upset over it, he ended his life around 9:30 pm on Wednesday night, the police said.
He is survived by his wife and three children.
Earlier also, Joy and his relatives had protested in front of the office over the matter.
Local people did not allow police to remove the body and relented only after the Koyilandi tehsildar visited the spot and pacified them.
With protests mounting over the death of the farmer, District Collector UV Jose suspended a village assistant and a village officer for “not accepting his land tax”.
Reacting to the development, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said the revenue secretary would take further action on the matter.
Revenue minister E Chandrasekharam said stern action would be taken against officials who cause unnecessary inconvenience to people approaching government offices for various services.
He said the government was of the view that a situation where a common man has to visit offices for services more than two times was not acceptable.
Latching onto the matter, opposition leader in the Assembly Ramesh Chennithala attacked the government and said the death of the farmer was a shame on Kerala and it was due to rampant corruption in the revenue department.
He also demanded that the government book the officials responsible for the death of Joy on charges of homicide.