Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala government Thursday suspended four officers of Anthoor Municipality in Kannur in connection with the suicide of an NRI businessman, whose new auditorium was not granted ownership certificate by authorities.
The 49-year-old Nigeria-returned businessman, Sajan Parayil, who had spent about Rs 16 crore for the auditorium, had hanged himself at his home Tuesday, after the municipality refused to grant the certificate for his dream project.
The suicide created a furore in the Kerala assembly Wednesday, with the opposition UDF staging a walkout.
"We have suspended four officials of the municipality after finding certain lapses on their part. Municipal secretary M K Gireesh, Engineer K Kalesh and first grade overseer Augustin and overseer B Sudheer are the officials who have been suspended," Local Self Government Minister A C Moideen told media here.
The state government was with the investors and would resolve issues with regard to any construction rules, the minister said adding the "unfortunate" incident was an isolated one.
"A preliminary enquiry has found that there have been some lapses on the part of certain officials. We have sought a detailed report. The government will take steps to reduce the inordinate delay in case of granting permission for building construction," the minister said.
However, Moideen was upset over the fact that the suspension announcement was made by CPM Kannur district secretary M V Jayarajan half-an-hour before the minister's briefing.
"The government has not entrusted the party to make its announcements. I don't know from where the district secretary got the information," the minister said.
"This incident was unfortunate. It's a serious issue. There are certain officials with a negative approach. If the allegations raised by the Opposition are true, strong action will be taken," Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had said in the assembly.
CPM Kannur district secretary, M V Jayarajan, Senior party leaders P Jayarajan and P K Sreemathy, former MP, visited Sajan's house and consoled the relatives.
Sajan's family had categorically stated that he had ended his life due to the obstinate stand of the Muncipality chairperson, Shyamala PK, who is the wife of CPM central committee member M V Govindan, but no action has been taken against her. This was the second suicide of a foreign-returnee in four months, he said.
Earlier this year, 65-year-old P Sugathan, who was abroad for over three decades, had returned to his hometown in Punalur to start a workshop.
But following protests from CPI, his project did not take off after which he ended his life.