The Kerala government today decided to clear the debts of a farmer who allegedly committed suicide last month outside Village Administration Office due to harassment by Kozhikode district officials. A cabinet meeting, chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, took the decision to clear the loans taken by Kaavilpurayidathil Joy, who was found hanging outside the Village Administrative Office on June 21. The amount would be released from the chief minister's relief fund, an official release said. Joy's family owed Rs 13.16 lakh to a cooperative bank in Chakkittappara in Kozhikode.
Besides this, the deceased also had taken educational loan of Rs 3.31 lakh from another bank, it said. Fifty seven-year-old Joy had taken the extreme step allegedly due to harassment by village officials who refused to accept his land tax for the past 18 months citing some reason or the other. The officials had also allegedly told him that the land owned by him was a disputed one. Following protests over the death, a village assistant and village officer were suspended for "not accepting his land tax.
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