Kollam: The revenue department has been put in the dock over the suicide of Gulf-returnee Sugathan, 65, at Vilakudi after his workshop was forcibly closed by CPI workers in February last year.
It has come to light that the department delayed issuing a report on the disputed land following which the Vilakkudi panchayat held up permit for the workshop.
The panchayat had in February submitted an application to the revenue department to find whether the land on which a makeshift shed was constructed by Sugathan fell under the paddy and wetland data bank.
The department has not yet considered the application despite the controversies following the death of the non-resident Keralite.
It has to conduct a land survey to identify whether the disputed area is within the databank.
The makeshift shed was constructed on seven cents of land comprising 27 cents. If the revenue department finds the shed is not on the land which is in the databank, the panchayat can give the permit.
The panchayat had earlier given a temporary permit but the report from revenue department is necessary for issuing licence. The relatives of the deceased also suspect political lobbying behind the indefinite delay.
Sugathan had taken the land on lease for three years. Meanwhile, in a letter to the panchayat, the land owner has objected to construction work on the land. However, the panchayat has maintained that it could not intervene in the lease agreement.
Sugathan of Alinkeezhil at Aikkarakkonam, Punalur, committed suicide after AIYF, the youth wing of CPI, opposed starting his workshop.
Sugathan had worked for 35 years as an automobile mechanic in Muscat before he returned to his hometown to start his own business.
The local leaders of the AIYF disrupted the works which forced Sugathan to commit suicide by hanging in the temporary shed.
The AIYF had alleged that it was illegal to use the land for commercial purpose as it was a paddy field 13 years ago.
Sugathan was allegedly approached by politicians demanding money to settle the issue, which he refused....