VILLUPURAM : Seven members of a Dalit family tried to set themselves ablaze in front of the Villupuram Collectorate, demanding action against some of their relatives, who had erected a wall around their house, claiming that the land belonged to them. Since the wall was built around the house, the family had to vacate it and decided to stay at a bus-stand. According to sources, Subburayan (62), a farm labourer, was living with his wife Chinnapapa (55) in a thatched roof hut for over 50 years, along with his son Rajkumar (35), daughter-in- law Anitha (27) and three grandchildren at S Kunnathur Village.
Two years ago, Munusamy (50), one of his relatives, claiming ownership over the land, raised a compound wall in the northern side of the house, thereby blocking the front entrance.
Soon, Solai (60), Kaliyamoorthy (46) and Muniyappan (48), also relatives of Subburayan, started erecting walls blocking the remaining three sides of the house. Since all the sides of the house were blocked, Subburayan began staying at the bus-stand. Then, he approached the Registrar office and discovered that the land taken over by his relatives did not belong to any of them. Following this, Subburayan sought the help of village head Soundarajan and tried to bring down the wall. But, the encroachers refused to do so and even threatened to kill Subburayan. Frustrated over official apathy, they decided to commit suicide at the Collectorate.
Officials pacified with the family and assured them of action. After wresting the assurance, Subburayan gave up the suicide bid.