Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has promised help to the children of the Kerala couple - Rajan and Ambili - who died due to accidental immolation. “Today a death happened. A couple died due to immolation while they were being asked to clear the property. It is very sad news. They have children. Instructions have been given to build a house for the kids as well as to cover their education expenses. Full support will be given to them,” CM Pinarayi said after offering his condolences.
The couple Rajan, 47, and Ambili, 40, were accidentally set on fire on December 22 while they were trying to evade an attempt by the local police to evict them from the property where their house was built. The couple lived with their children in Nellimoodu Thiruvananthapuram’s Neyyattinkara. They have two boys Rahul Raj and Renjith - aged 23 and 17.
On December 22, officials of the Neyyattinkara police visited their house and asked them to vacate the premises, in order to implement a court order. The move to evict his family came on the basis of a complaint by a neighbour in June, according to reports in Malayalam media. Earlier in June too, there was an attempt to evict the family from a shed that Rajan constructed on the land.
A video showed Rajan pouring petrol all over him and Ambili. The couple caught fire when a police official attempted to knock the lighter out of his hand.
On Sunday night Rajan succumbed to his burns and Ambili died by Monday night. After an emotional appeal by the children, Rajan’s mortal remains were cremated in the same land where the family was supposed to be evicted from. An official of the Neyyattinkara police told TNM that Ambili’s body is being kept at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital and will be brought home after a COVID-19 test result.