Eighteen days after a Nigeria-based NRI businessman committed suicide allegedly after his Rs 16 crore state-of-the-art convention centre in Kerala's Kannur was stalled by the local civic body, the project has got official clearance, it was announced Saturday.
Sajan Parayil, 49, hanged himself in his house on June 18, allegedly fed up with the way he was treated by the Anthoor Municipality Chairperson P.K. Shymala, who, at one point, according to Sajan's wife Beena, said that he will not get the clearance as long as she held the post.
Things, however, changed after Sajan's suicide as the Congress-led opposition took up the issue in a big way and the Kerala High Court took cognisance of the incident, seeking all the relevant files been submitted to it by July 5.
The Kerala government had subsequently suspended four employees of the municipality and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan assured the Assembly that things will be sorted out soon.
Now, Local Self Government Secretary T.K. Jose has directed the Municipality Secretary to see that the occupancy certificate is issued on Monday after ensuring that all the changes sought have been made.
While the government has cracked down on officials, the lack of action against Shyamala is being seen due to the fact that she is the wife of Vijayan's closest aide and party Central Committee member M.V. Govindan. Sajan was close to another top CPI-M leader in Kannur P. Jayarajan and this has been attributed by those in the know of things as the reason for Shyamala's opposition.
The Anthoor Municipality currently does not have any opposition party representative, as all the councillors belong to the ruling Left Democratic Front and hence Shyamala reigned supreme.
To mount pressure on Vijayan to act, all legislators of the opposition Congress-led UDF last week quit the state government's recently-formed Loka Kerala Sabha created to channelise investment and expertise of Malayali industrialists settled abroad for the state's betterment following Sajan's shocking suicide.