The police identified the men as Prabhakaran a resident of Theni who works at a petrol bunk and his friend Kumaran, a resident of Tiruvannamalai who is a cab driver. Both were consuming liquor at a TASMAC outlet at Ilango Nagar at Virugambakkam.
The men were picked up after they got into a drunken brawl with another group of men who were drinking alcohol in the same bar. The police took them to the station and refused to hand over their bikes because they were drunk. A
fter arguing with the police and asking them to return their vehicles, the duo collected petrol from a nearby petrol bunk and attempted to immolate themselves. The police however stopped them and sent them home in an autorickshaw.