“Even if he had personal issues, why should he go to the Secretariat and set himself on fire there? He absolutely had no personal or family issues,” Sindhu said.

How could man with 90pc burns give statement Venugopalans sister slams Min copsPic Credits: Sreekesh Ravindran Nair
news Controversy Friday, December 14, 2018 - 20:05

A day after the death of 49-year-old Venugopalan Nair due to self immolation at the BJP Sabarimala protest venue in Kerala, his sister has slammed Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran for his comments on the deceased man. Speaking to TNM, Sindhu also questioned the police statement and Kadakampally’s comments on her brother’s death, asking how a man who suffered 90% burns could have given any statement.

Kerala Police on Thursday stated that Venugopalan, a native of Muttada in Thiruvananthapuram set himself on fire as a result of various personal problems; they said that Venugopalan had himself said this in a statement to a magistrate. Kadakampally Surendran meanwhile had said that Venugopalan was not an Ayyappa devotee.

“I want to know how a person who was completely burnt was able to give a statement to the magistrate inside the hospital,” Sindhu asked.

Lashing out at Kadakampally Surendran, Sindhu said that she will file a defamation case against the minister for his statements about Venugopalan.

Speaking to the media on Thursday, Kadakampally Surendran had said that based on the conversations that he had with the family and neighbours of Venugopalan, he was able to understand that even though Venugopalan had no political leanings, his family had traditionally been supporters of the Left government.

“The mental condition of Venugopalan was also known to be in an unstable condition. He is a person who, even if he passes by an Ayyappa temple, would not enter and pray. Based on the statement he himself gave, we know that he himself bought the kerosine which he used to self immolate,” Kadakampally Surendran told the media.

Responding to this statement by the minister, Sindhu said, “I don’t know who is telling him all this. None of the party members or journalists spoke to us about Venugopalan, then where is he getting all this information from?”

Pointing to a prayer room in their house in Muttada, Sindhu said, “This is his prayer room. He is an ardent devotee. This is the prayer room of the person whom Kadakampally said will not enter the temple even if he goes in front of the temple.”

Reacting to the claims about Venugopalan wanting to end his life because of personal issues, his sister said, “Even if he had personal issues, why should he go to the Secretariat and set himself on fire there? He absolutely had no personal or family issues.”

Sindhu also added that she feels that it is the Communist party workers living near their house who are spreading fake news to the media and the ministers.

Venugopalan, an auto driver hailing from Muttada in the state capital, set himself on fire during the early hours of Thursday in front of the Secretariat building in Thiruvananthapuram, where members of the BJP were protesting against the restrictions imposed at Sabarimala temple. He set himself ablaze and ran towards the makeshift tent constructed to house BJP State General Secretary CK Padmanabhan, who is currently leading the protest.

The police and BJP workers rushed him to the Government Medical College Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram, where he succumbed to his injuries around 3.30 pm on Thursday. He had sustained 90% burns.

Following the death of Venugopalan, the Kerala BJP had called for a state-wide dawn to dusk hartal in Kerala on Friday.

Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.