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Kerala farmer hangs himself outside revenue office after asked for bribe

LiveMint logoLiveMint 22-06-2017 Nidheesh M.K.

Bengaluru: In an embarrassment for Kerala’s ruling Communist government, a farmer has hanged himself citing alleged harassment by local government officers. He hanged himself outside the local revenue office on Wednesday night.

The farmer, Joy, 56, in Kozhikode district, was repeatedly turned away by the government staffers when he tried to submit his land tax, allegedly because of his refusal to pay a bribe, reported the website of regional newspaper Malayala Manorama.

Leading to dramatic scenes, the locals sat in protest against the authorities throughout the night, and refused to take the body away from the office premises for cremation, until the district collector and other high-ranking officials and politicians came down to the spot and assured action, the report said.

Earlier also, the family had sat on a hunger strike in front of the office and Joy had even threatened the officers that he would take his life if his distress is not addressed, the report said.

The incident comes at a time when the ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist) has been waging a political attack against the Bharatiya Janata Party-led union government, which it is fighting as opposition in Kerala, for allegedly anti-farmer policies.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the BJP government is treating farmers like terrorists, instead of aiding them in distress.

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