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Protest rages over Kerala couple's death in accidental immolation

Wednesday, December 30, 2020 • Malayalam Comments

Kerala couple dies in accidental immolation

A Kerala couple named Rajan, 47, and Ambili, 40, were accidentally set on fire while they tried to evade an attempt by the local police to evict them from the property, in order to implement a court order. In a shed that Rajan constructed, the couple lived with their two boys Rahul Raj and Renjith - aged 23 and 17 in Nellimoodu Thiruvananthapuram’s Neyyattinkara.

On December 22, the officials of the Neyyattinkara police visited Rajan's house forcing the family to vacate, after their neighbour Vasantha secured a court order for eviction. Though Rajan told them that he will produce the stay order, the Police and the neighbour refused to accept it and forced him to leave the house when he was having lunch, his sons Rahul and Ranjith.

While the Police was handling the situation in an insensitive manner, unexpectedly Rajan poured petrol over him and wife Ambili to make the officials back off. He even went on to light a lighter, asking the police to withdraw. The video of the incident surfaced online and it is seen that a police officer tried to knock off the lighter, but unfortunately, the couple caught on fire. Reportedly, the Police and the lawyer's commission reached Rajan’s house 30 minutes before the High Court issued an interim order restricting the eviction till January 15.

rajan ambili kerala couple fire accident

On Sunday, night Rajan succumbed to his burns and hours later on Monday night Ambili too died. After an emotional appeal by the couple's children, the mortal remains of Rajan and Ambili were cremated in the same land where the family was supposed to be evicted from.

The couple’s death has shocked Kerala and has led to much anger among the public. The couple’s children alleged that police officials were responsible for the immolation. People fromm all corners including leaders of rival political parties had come out criticising the police's hasty movie, their lack of empathy and hurry to evict the couple. As the children are left alone after the tragic death of the parents, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced that the government will take over their protection.

If only the officials had the patience to wait for 30 minutes, two lives would have been saved.

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