KOLLAM: A man who worked abroad for about 35 years and returned to his hometown in Punalur to start a business committed suicide on Friday because of the obstructive tactics of local politicians. The relatives of Sugathan, 65, of Alinkeezhil at Aikkarakonam staged a road blockade in Punalur on Saturday demanding police action against the guilty who abetted his suicide. Sugathan, who was an automobile mechanic in Muscat, took a property on lease at Elambal to start a workshop.
He also constructed a shed on the property spending nearly Rs. 3 lakh. The local leaders of the AIYF, youth wing of the CPI, launched a protest disrupting the construction which allegedly forced Sugathan to commit suicide by hanging himself in the temporary workshop he had constructed. Three other knots were also found on the pole where Sugathan was found hanging, apparently intended for his family members comprising his wife and two sons.
The AIYF had objected to the workshop saying that it was illegal to use the land for commercial purpose as it was once a paddy field about 13 years back. According to the relatives, politicians had approached Sugathan demanding money to settle the issue, which he refused. He had also sought help from other political leaders to resolve the issue, but in vain. The AIYF had allegedly given a deadline to demolish the construction and erected flag poles at the site.
The Kunnikkode police registered a case for unnatural death. "The relatives have given a complaint that Sugathan was disheartened by the raising of flags in his property. The police are collecting statements from the relatives and the locals. Cases will be charged only after getting proper evidence for the involvement of local politicians," Mr Bipin Prakash, Kunnicode SI, told DC.
Meanwhile, the CPI denied the allegations and said the party or its youth wing has no connection with the suicide. However, it opposed the conversion of paddy fields for other purposes. Several buildings, including an auditorium, have been built at the site where filling was done a decade back. The body was released to the relatives after autopsy at the Thiruvananthapuram MCH. Sugathan leaves behind wife Sarasamma, sons Sujith and Sunil Bose....