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Kerala Couple Self-Immolation: Woman who moved Court to evict family, detained

 On Tuesday evening, the Police took Vasantha, the woman who moved court for the eviction of a family in Neyyattinkara, into preventive custody, after the attempt at eviction led to the tragic death of a couple.

The Police action came after an aggrieved crowd started pouring into the house of the deceased couple who got accidentally immolated while opposing the eviction. According to the Police, Vasantha, who is the neighbour of the deceased Rajan and Ambili, was taken into preventive custody to protect law and order.

A video of Rajan, 47 years old, and Ambili, 40 years old, getting immolated in front of their children, had gone viral. It was on December 22 that officials including Neyyattinkara police came to the house, forcing the family to vacate, after Vasantha secured a court order for eviction. With the police forcing the family to evict, despite Rajan asking for more time, the latter poured petrol over Ambili and himself, apparently to make the officials back off.

He went on to light a lighter, asking the police to withdraw. In the video of the incident, a police officer can then be seen trying to knock off the lighter, but unfortunately, the couple caught on fire.

Following this, Rajan and Ambili who were under treatment, passed away on Sunday and Monday, in the difference of a few hours. The heart-wrenching incident got widely noticed across the state after the couple’s children alleged that police officials were responsible for the immolation. Many including leaders of rival political parties had come out criticising the police.

On Tuesday, as the Police, including top officials of Thiruvananthapuram Rural, took Vasantha out of her house in a police vehicle, many people who had thronged to the place were seen shouting at her. “There is no complaint against the woman from anyone, we are taking her to custody in order to maintain law and order,” said an official.

Vasantha told Asianet News that she will continue with legal proceedings.

The funeral of Ambili, who passed away on Monday, took place on Tuesday night. Rajan who died on Sunday night was buried in the premises of the house. In a video which has gone viral, the couple’s younger son 17-year-old Renjith can be seen lashing out at the police while trying to dig a hole to bury his father. This was before the death of Ambili. In the video, a police officer can be seen asking the boy to stop digging. Renjith points a finger at him and says feelingly, “Only my mother is left. It is all of you that killed my father, now won’t you allow me to bury him,” and continues to dig the grave. Hours after this incident, their mother Ambili also succumbed to the injuries.

Later on Tuesday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced that the government will take over the protection of the children, who have been left alone after the tragic death of the parents.


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