In a heart-rending visual from Kerala, a teenager pleading with the police to allow the burial of his father while on the other hand, his younger brother digging the grave even as their mother was nearing her death, has shaken the conscience of various people around.
The incidents took place on Monday in Neyyattinkara town located to the south of capital city Trivandrum of Kerala State. The teens’ father Rajan died on Monday due to burn injuries, a few days after a self-immolation bid during a botched eviction attempt that followed a court order on land encroachment. His wife Ambili also died of burns a few hours later, rendering the children orphans.
Following both of their parent’s death, both the teens Rahul and Ranjith had to bury their father on their own as few were willing to help in burying him in a property over which a dispute had been raging.
“Sir, my mother is also about to die. You all have killed them. Now you won’t even let us bury them?” the younger son Ranjith was seen in the video asking a police officer with a raised finger.
The video posted by MP Kodikunnil Suresh on social media also showed an elderly woman saying “We are begging before you with folded hands. Please don’t harass us.”
On the other hand, Vasantha, the couple’s neighbor, whose complaint led to the eviction proceedings, has said that she would go ahead with her legal fight and would never hand over the plot to the children of the deceased couple.
“I have done nothing wrong. I have not hurt anyone nor have I snatched anything from anyone. Now people are saying this (land from which the deceased were sought to be evicted) is not my land. I want to prove it is,” Vasantha told reporters on Tuesday.
She also made it clear that she would willingly hand over the land to any poor family but not to the family of the deceased.
“I will not give this land to people who had resorted to ‘goondaism’. If you want me to give it to them, you will have to kill me,” Vasantha said.
Meanwhile, the Kerala government has offered to sponsor the children.
On 22 December, Rajan attempted to end his life before the government authorities who came to evict his family from the property following a court order. Recorded visuals at the spot show Rajan pouring petrol on his clothes even as he held a lighter and threatened to set himself ablaze. His wife is also seen beside him.
When he raised the hand apparently threatening to light it, his shirt caught fire. In no time he went up in flames. Rajan sustained serious injuries in the abdominal region. While in hospital, Rajan had given a statement saying that he didn’t set himself ablaze as he didn’t want to die. However, he died on Monday morning and his wife who was with him on the day of the incident also succumbed to her injuries later.
The tragedy reportedly happened when a policeman standing close by tried to snatch the lighter from his hand.