The death of a fisherman by suicide at Paravur near here snowballed into a controversy on Friday after a note purportedly written by him found in his pocket said he had to take the extreme step because of local revenue officials' apathy over a land issue, police said.
The body of the fisherman (56) was found hanging from a tree in the backyard of his house on Thursday."During the inquest, a suicide note was found and it blames local RDO authorities over some issues related to the conversion of his paddy land," the police told PTI.
His relatives said he had approached the local revenue offices multiple times to convert his agricultural land to get a loan. "But there were no responses from the offices," a relative told reporters.
As this sparked the controversy, the district Collector today sought a report from the Fort Kochi Sub-Collector, who said he had already submitted a report saying the application for the conversion of land was under consideration.
Sources said over 20,000 similar applications are pending at the office and, they were being disposed of through adalats. Meanwhile, Revenue Minister K Rajan said action would be taken if there was a lapse on behalf of any official.
"If the suicide was due to any lapse on behalf of any official in the Revenue Department, then strong action will be taken against them. A high-level probe has been ordered and the Joint Land Revenue Commissioner will submit a report within one week," Rajan said in a press release. The Minister said action would be taken, based on the report of the Joint Land Revenue Commissioner.
With PTI inputs.