A 34-year-old drunk man who set himself ablaze in front of Mico Layout traffic police station on Sunday succumbed to burn injuries at Victoria Hospital.
Family members of Manikanta, a truck driver and resident of CK Palya near Silk Board Junction, alleged that harassment by police drove him to suicide. However, the allegations are yet to be verified reported The New Indian Express.
A police official at Mico Layout traffic police station confirmed that Manikanta, while riding towards Jayadeva Hospital fell down near Shoppers Stop. Traffic ASI Murthy, who was checking riders for drunk driving nearby first noticed him.
Manikanta was found to be under the influence of alcohol and reportedly refused the breath test. Police decided to seize his bike after they found that he did not have vehicle documents.
He was let go by the police immediately after this. Manikanta however returned to Mico Layout traffic police later demanding that the bike be released. The police however rejected his request.
Manikanta responded by going to a nearby petrol pump and doused himself with a bottle full of petrol and set himself ablaze. Police, alerted by his screams, rushed to the spot and took him to Victoria Hospital where he succumbed to injuries later in the day.
“Manikanta’s wife refused to give a statement as she has separated from him a few months ago,” police officials speaking to The New Indian Express said.
Manikanta was from Tamil Nadu. He was a driver and had recently joined a courier firm. He is survived by a five-year-old son and wife who lives separately in KR Puram.
Advocate Ravichandra, who represents Mani's family, told Times of India, "They (police) told us that Mani was under depression for two years after his wife separated from him, and that might be the reason why he took the extreme step."