Sugathan, a 64-year-old Gulf expatriate, who had recently returned to his native place at Punalur in Kollam district, hanged himself to death believing his repeated attempts to set up a small business had been stonewalled by the cadres of All India Youth Federation (AIYF), youth wing of ruling Communist Party of India (CPI) in Kerala, Manorama Online has reported.
Sugathan commenced constructing a workshop on a plot he had leased from a native at Illambal. Soon after the construction of the shed, CPI and AIYF activists began demanding that he dismantle the workshop. The activists claimed that the land on which the shed had been constructed was apparently a paddy field and could not be used for any work other than agriculture.
While the disputed land was once a paddy field, the owner had levelled up the land. Many buildings, including an auditorium, were constructed after converting the paddy field. The land was no longer not suitable for farming.
As Sugathan continued to construct his workshop, AIYF cadres intensified the agitation against him and even put up their flags on the land. He has reportedly spent Rs 3 lakh for building the workshop. Sugathan's relatives and friends alleged that CPI cadres were demanding bribe to regularise the land use.
Sugathan was employed in Muscat as an automobile mechanic for 40 years. He had returned home after Oman's new labour policy came into force.
Sugathan is survived by wife Sarasamma and sons Sujith and Sunil.