Militant trade unionism by Communists has claimed one more life in Kerala. Close on the heels of the murder of tribal youth Madhu in Kerala, a Non-Resident Indian (NRI) committed suicide on Thursday following threats and harassment from members of All-India Youth Front (AIYF), the youth wing of Communist Party of India (CPI) and CPI(M).
The victim, Sugathan, 65, a resident of Punalur in Kollam district, who wanted to start a small workshop with his megre savings hanged himself from the roof of the shed which he has set up to start the workshop. The hapless man had taken a piece of land on lease to start the venture but the Communist goons obstructed the work saying that the land was a paddy field and they won’t allow piling of paddy fields. He pleaded with the goons and their leaders but they didn’t heed.
Rajesh, a neighbour of Sugathan said, “Sugathan moved from pillar to post to start his small business, for which he had taken loans also. He was so desperate as his resources were drying up. The Communists wanted hefty bribe which the poor man could not afford. The Communist goons planted their flags and threatened to attack Sugathan and his family members.”
Supria Pillai writes:
Sugathan used to work in a workshop somewhere in the Gulf. After his retirement at the age of 65 years, he didn’t have anything to live on. Using his meagre savings, he rented out a plot and built a small shed to house a workshop.
Unfortunately, the plot was on a paddy field and it is against the law in Kerala to use it for any other purposes. However, this law is one of the most abused laws because most of the fields in Kerala are now concrete jungles. Just next to Sugathan’s half-built workshop was a huge auditorium built completely on a paddy land. So when Sugathan went to get the necessary permission and licences, he was assured of all help by the local administration.
Two days before he was to open the workshop, the AIYF and CPI(M) cadres and leaders threatened him with dire consequences if he started work. They begin a sit in strike in front of his unit and unleash a merciless campaign of slander and corruption against this hapless man.
Sugathan pleaded with the leaders that he had no other means to live and that whatever little he had he had invested in the workshop. Finding no help coming from anywhere, hapless Sugathan committed suicide.