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Man immolates self after ‘assault’ by police for not paying rent, dies

Even before the row over Thoothukudi custodial deaths could completely die down, Tamil Nadu police have got mired in another controversy. A 42-year-old man set himself ablaze and died in a city hospital after he was allegedly assaulted by police for not paying the house rent for the last few months.

Man immolates self after ‘assault’ by police for not paying rent, dies
Representative image.


After a video of the victim Srinivasan (42), recorded at Kilpauk Medical College (KMC) Hospital, in which he claims that his landlord Rajendran, an AIADMK functionary, brought the inspector (G Bensam) to make him vacate the house and attacked him went viral, the latter was placed under suspension. In the video reportedly shot by Srinivasan’s brother Ganesan, Srinivasan claims that the incident happened around 7 pm. Around 11 pm, Srinivasan doused himself in kerosene and set self ablaze. While he was admitted at KMC with about 90 per cent burns, he succumbed on Sunday noon.

Srinivasan, a house painter, is said to have moved to the house in Vinayakapuram a year ago with his wife and two girl children. The house is one of the eight portions in a building and families were living in other houses as well. Police said that the neighbours had already lodged a complaint against him eight months ago for nuisance, but he was booked under simple sections and let off with a warning.

Police claim the neighbours again complained to the landlord that Srinivasan often came home drunk and created a ruckus in the building and that a team visited his house on Saturday evening after the owner Rajendran approached them for help.

“When police went to his house, Srinivasan was drunk. So, police asked him to come to the station on Sunday,” said police sources. However, Srinivasan’s kin allege he could not pay rent for the last three months due to the lockdown, but police attacked him at the behest of Rajendran.

A senior official, when contacted, said they have received a complaint from his wife that Srinivasan committed suicide due to depression, unable to pay the rent for the last few months.

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