Village Assistant Surrenders in Farmer Suicide Incident

Kozhikode: A village assistant, suspended for allegedly abetting suicide of a farmer in the district last week, surrendered before police last night.

Police said Saleesh Thomas, Chempanoda Panchayat Village Assistant, who had been suspended from service pending inquiry following the suicide of Kavil Purayidathil Joy, 56, had surrendered before Perambra Circle Inspector.

Sources said Saleesh was hiding in the house of a relative at Mananthawadi after the incident on June 21.
Joy committed suicide by hanging near the village office building as officials allegedly refused to accept land tax despite repeated requests by him. His death had triggered protests by local people.

Wife of the deceased had alleged that Saleesh demanded Rs one lakh bribe to accept his land tax. According to her, he was deeply pained by the attitude of the village officials and it impelled him to take the extreme step.

Speaking to a Malayalam news channel today, the farmer’s wife insisted that the government take over the debts of the family.

Another official, Village Officer Sunny, has also been suspended from service in connection with the case.

Meanwhile, Additional Chief Secretary (Revenue) P H Kurien said the ”failure” of officials at Chempanoda village office could be the reason behind the alleged suicide of the farmer.