Opposing demolition drive, man sets self ablaze in RA Puram; condition critical

The man, Kannaiyan, is a resident of Ilango street at Govindadamy Nagar in R A Puram where the demolition drive has been on for over a week as per the Supreme Court order, despite the protests by the dwellers of the locality.
Opposing demolition drive, man sets self ablaze in RA Puram; condition critical
Representative image

CHENNAI: A 56-year-old man who set himself ablaze in Raja Annamalaipuram on Sunday morning, opposing the demolition drive of the Water Resources Department and TN Urban Habitat Development Board (TNUHDB), has been admitted to Kilpauk Medical College Hospital in a critical condition.

The man, Kannaiyan, is a resident of Ilango street at Govindadamy Nagar in R A Puram where the demolition drive has been on for over a week as per the Supreme Court order, despite the protests by the dwellers of the locality.

Kannaiyan who sells construction raw materials for livelihood doused himself with kerosene and lit a match. Shocked family members and neighbours poured water on him and in a bid to rescue him. He was rushed to the Government Royapettah Hospital and then transferred to the Kilpauk Medical College Hospital. Kannaiyan has reportedly suffered about 90 per cent burns and is said to be critical.

A video of Kannaiyan demanding justice for the residents of Govindasamy Nagar after he was rescued from the self immolation bid circulated on social media on Sunday.

Ever since the demolition drive started, the members of 259 families living in Govindasamy Nagar had been resorting to protests by entering the Adyar river and staging rail and road roko. But the departments concerned have been carrying out the drive amidst reports that the standard operating procedure laid down by the state government have not been adhered to.

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