Kottayam | Dramatic scenes were witnessed on Tuesday before a panchayat office in this southern Kerala district where an NRI industrialist lay on a public road under the scorching sun to protest against the officials not giving the building number to his establishment.
The industrialist -- Shajimon George -- initially protested at the porch of the Manjoor panchayat office in the morning before the police came and removed him from there.
Thereafter, he continued his protest by lying down on the road in front of the office.
George alleged before TV channels that the officials of the panchayat -- run by the LDF -- were harassing him by not giving the building number as he had complained against some of them for demanding a bribe when he had commenced the construction.
He said that his establishment was constructed at a cost of Rs 25 crore under the concept of a sporting village.
He claimed that all requisite documents, including clearances from the Railways, were provided to the panchayat, despite which they were not giving him the building number.
George claimed that if any wrong was committed by him, he should have been given a notice by the panchayat as per the law.
He said that he did not want any illegal benefit worth even a rupee and was willing to obey any law.
He further contended that if any wrong was committed on his part, the panchayat should have immediately issued a stop memo.
However, nothing of that sort has been done in the instant case, he claimed.
Later, UDF MLA Mons Joseph reached the spot and spoke to the officials and George.
The MLA from Kaduthuruthy here said the issue raised by the NRI would be considered and addressed in the district-level dispute resolution committee.
After the committee held discussions with the panchayat officials, George ended his protest.
The panchayat officials, meanwhile, contended that a building number was not issued due to lack of certain documents.
They also claimed before the media that there were a large number of start-ups in their panchayat and they were not anti-industry or anti-business.