Tamil Nadu: High drama at Cuddalore as 16 try self-immolation

Joint family members take extreme step as plea for way of path ignored.

Published: 17th April 2018 02:35 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th April 2018 02:35 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

CUDDALORE: In a shocking incident, 16 members of a joint family tried to set themselves on fire by pouring petrol at the Cuddalore collectorate on Monday. They were reportedly aggrieved by the inaction of revenue officials in sanctioning a path to their house. The incident created flutter as it came amidst the enforcement of heavy security measures at collectorates across the State to thwart the rife in suicide attempts by persons who came to lodge petitions.Veerathangapandian and his family, including children, came to attend the weekly grievance meeting to lodge a fresh petition after their earlier requests for getting land for a path to their residence fell on deaf ears. 

After submitting the petition, the family members came out of the meeting hall and flashed the copies of petitions they had lodged at various offices so far. Soon, Veerathangapandian and some women of his family took out bottles of petrol and poured it on themselves and their children. However, police personnel at the spot prevented them from lighting the fuel. According to Veerathangapandian, his family was living in their 1.35 acres of inherited land at Nochikkadu and had been carrying out farming activities. Recently, a portion of the nearby land, through which a pathway to their house had been laid, was converted into a patta land and sold to a private party. 

 Since then, the 16-member family had difficulties in commuting through the path as the private party was objecting to the thoroughfare through their land.  Aggrieved over this, Veerathangapandian has been reportedly running from pillar to post for sanctioning a path to his residence. Speaking to Express, a senior revenue official said the issue had been brought to their notice just then only, and suitable action would be taken on the petition. 

Another bid by DMK leader’s kin over land 
Six persons tried to immolate themselves at the collectorate here on Monday after dousing kerosene on their bodies in protest against a relative, Senthilkumar, who is the DMK district deputy secretary, allegedly grabbing their family lands. According to the police, Manjula (70) of Veppadai, her sons Prakash (38) and Karthi (36), daughter-in-laws Selvi (30) and Rukmani (28) and granddaughter (2) came to the collectorate at around 11.45 am and then Prakash poured kerosene on all of them from his 5-litre can. On seeing it, an armed policeman snatched the can from him and poured water on all of them. Meanwhile, the elderly Manjula, who has undergone a heart operation, swooned. They were all later taken to the Surampatti police station.

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