The man accidentally set himself on fire while trying to threaten police officials who had come to evict his family.

Two sons of the deceased man crying for helpCredit: Screen grab / Mathrubhumi News
news Death Monday, December 28, 2020 - 18:03

Update: The children's mother also passed away a day after. Read details here

“Before passing away, my pappa held my hand...he said he should be buried where we lived. My pappa’s last wish should be fulfilled. I’m humbly requesting the Chief Minister to help us and give an order. Only then my pappa will get peace.” These were the heart-wrenching words of a young boy, sobbing uncontrollably in front of a hospital in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram, hours after his father succumbed to burn injuries after an accident.

Neyyattinkara native Rajan was critically injured after he accidentally set himself on fire while trying to thwart police officials with the threat of immolation. Police had come to evict the family as they were allegedly living on encroached land.

In the video of the incident which has surfaced, an aggrieved Rajan could be seen pouring petrol over him and his wife, threatening officials not to come closer to him. He is seen holding a lighter, but keeping the flame away from his body. A police officer can be seen coming closer to pull the lighter away from him, but in a moment Rajan and his wife Ambili were on fire.

“It was due to that police officer. When the police officer pulled the lighter, it fell onto his (Rajan’s) chest, where there was petrol. When someone is holding a lighter, is this the way they should have acted? They should have gone back,” says Rajan’s younger son Renjith.

Talking to Mathrubhumi News, Rajan’s two children -- Rahul and Renjith -- could be seen desperately wailing for help, to bury their father in the disputed land, as per his last wish. It was on December 22 that officials of the Neyyattinkara police station and a judicial commission went Rajan’s house, located at Nellimoodu, asking the family to vacate the house immediately.

Watch video of the boys seeking help

According to local reporters, the family had been living in a shabby house on poramboke land. Officials had come to the spot to evict them after a neighbour moved court. However, talking to the media, the children said that 20 minutes after the incident happened, the court issued a stay on the eviction.

Rajan, who was admitted in a critical condition to the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College, passed away on Sunday night. In a video that surfaced before Rajan’s death, he could be seen saying from the hospital bed that he had no plans to set himself on fire. “I only wanted them to back off,” he was seen saying. According to reports, Rajan’s wife is still under treatment and her condition is critical.

Talking to Mathrubhumi News, Rajan’s two children could be seen desperately wailing for help, to bury their father in the disputed land, as per his last wish. It was on December 22 that officials of the Neyyattinkara police station and a judicial commission visited Rajan’s house, located at Nellimoodu, asking the family to vacate the house immediately.

Read:

Kerala couple’s immolation: CM Pinarayi promises to build house, fund education of kids

Kerala couple’s immolation: Shashi Tharoor, Chennithala criticise police

Palakkad caste killing: Many hail accused father, expose underlying caste pride

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