Tirunelveli: ‘Kanduvetti’ (lending money at usurious interest rates) related family traumas made a shocking re-entry, on Monday, as three persons of a family of four including a woman and her two daughters succumbed to severe burn injuries they suffered in an open self-immolation at the Tirunelveli district collector’s office.
The family head Esakkimuthu, a daily wage worker, is undergoing treatment with third degree burns.While the family had resorted to this unbelievably self-tormenting step to protest the alleged lethargy of the police and the district administration towards his complaint against an usurer, the gruesome incident happened in broad daylight at around 11 am on Monday in front of the hall where the public grievances redressal meeting was on at the Collectorate.
Esakkimuthu (27), a daily wager from Kasidharmam village near Kadayanallur in Tirunelveli district along with his wife, Subbulakshmi and their two daugters, Mathisaranya (4) and Akshayabaraniya (2), came to the district collector’s office and were waiting under a tree in front of the public grievances day meeting hall when he suddenly doused himself, his wife and children with kerosene and set themselves on fire, tightly hugging his wife and children.
As the fire raged, members of the public and police personnel nearby put out the fire after struggling for about 15 minutes. By then the four were critically injured and were rushed to the Tirunelveli medical college hospital in a police vehicle.
Esakkimuthu’s younger brother, Gopi, who accompanied his brother’s family to the district collector’s office, asked his brother to wait under the tree and went out on personal work, when Esakkimuthu had resorted to this extreme decision.Rushing to the hospital on hearing of the incident, Gopi, in great depression, banged his head against the glass window pane of the hospital and injured himself.