After police seized the bike of a resident in Ambur in Tamil Nadu for violating Sunday’s total lockdown, the 27-year-old man set himself ablaze in protest and is now battling for life. He has been admitted to Christian Medical College hospital in Vellore with 90 per cent burns.
Police gave his name as Mugilan, a factory worker who is married with three kids, hailing from Anna Nagar in Ambur town in Tirupattur district. Tirupattur Superintendent of Police Vijayakumar has transferred the five cops who were at the check post where Mugilan was stopped and he has ordered an enquiry into the incident. CCTV footage of the incident is being examined.
According to police, Mugilan was stopped near the Chennai-Bangalore highway since he had violated the norms of the total lockdown and did not have proper documents for his bike. The policemen at the check post seized his bike and parked it in a nearby school ground. He asked the cops to return the bike, but they refused and asked him to fetch the papers for the vehicle. The police also found him to be drunk and warned him against riding a two-wheeler in that condition.
Angered at this, Mugilan trooped into the house of a relative near the check post and came back with a can of kerosene. Shouting that “police is responsible for my death” he doused himself with kerosene and set himself on fire. As he ran around in pain, the shocked policemen managed to douse the flames with a blanket. They then rushed him to the local government hospital and later shifted him to CMC as he was severely burnt.
Vijayakumar said that the CCTV footage showed the policemen only questioning Mugilan, taking down his details and then seizing the bike. “His blood sample has been drawn to check if he was drunk since doctors at the Ambur GH and CMC found him to be drunk,” he said. To ensure a fair enquiry, the five policemen have been transferred to the district headquarter, he added.