A 57-year-old farmer was found hanging from the building of a revenue department office at Chembanoda in Kerala’s Kozhikode district on Wednesday night.
Kavilpurayidathil Joy ended his life apparently in protest against the reluctance of officials to accept his land tax. He had been visiting the office for the last two years, pleading with officials to accept the tax for his 80 cents of land. He along with the family had last year done a sit-in at the office.
Joy’s brother, Johny, said the officials had refused to accept the tax on flimsy grounds as he had not bribed them. “The officials should be booked for murder and should be terminated from government service,’’ he said.
Angry residents prevented the police from taking away Joy’s body on Thursday. They were demanding that the government first suspend the officials and have the deceased farmer’s land tax accepted.
Later, revenue minister E Chandrasekharan ordered the suspension of officer Sunny and his assistant, Saleesh, who allegedly delayed acceptance of the tax for bribe. “The issue is serious and unfortunate. Revenue officials have been directed not to deny services to public without any reason.’’
The Kerala government ordered a probe after the issue triggered an outrage. District collector U V Jose said that he would recommend a job for the farmer’s daughter and Rs 10 lakh farm loan waiver.