A farmer in Kerala’s Kozhikode district committed suicide outside a village administrative office in the Chembanodu area, saying revenue officials had refused to accept his land tax multiple times, IANS reported. After the locals staged protests, village revenue assistant Sirish was suspended.
The village office had refused to accept 56-year-old KP Joy’s land tax saying it was not assessed in the revenue records, reported The Indian Express. The land is registered in Joy’s wife’s name. The protestors also claimed the officials had asked Joy for a bribe, the newspaper added.
Residents of the village protested after Joy’s body was found outside the village office around 8.30 pm on Wednesday. The Congress called for a day-long shutdown in Chakkittapara panchayat on Thursday, Manorama reported. Kozhikode District Collector UV Jose said Joy’s land tax would be accepted on Thursday itself and that strict action would be taken against the officials who were responsible.
Joy had earlier staged a hunger strike along with his family members outside the village office when the same incident had allegedly taken place two years ago, The Times of India reported. However, following the hunger strike, the officials had allowed him to pay the land tax.
Jose said he would urge the state government to provide a job to one of Joy’s family members. He said he would also ask for a write-off of the farmer’s loan of Rs 10 lakh, IANS reported.