On December 22, Rajan and Ambili, who was residing near Nettathottam colony in Pongil attempted to set themselves on fire when the Lawyer’s Commission and police tried to evict them from their house based on a court order. Aiming to deter the cops, Rajan held Ambili close to him and poured petrol over the both of them. When the police tried to foil the suicide threat, the fire from the lighter in Rajan’s hand spread all over the couple, and they suffered severe burn injuries.
However, while undergoing treatment at the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College, Rajan, who suffered over 50 per cent burn succumbed to injuries on Sunday. Ambili who was in critical condition passed away on Monday. The couple are survived by sons, Rahul and Ranjith.
The children said that it was their father's wish to be buried at the property. Following an emotional appeal by them to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, Rajan’s body was cremated at the same land from which the family was supposed to be evicted. According to reports, Ambili’s body will be brought home after a Covid-19 test result.
Rajan was living with his family in a temporary shed built in three cents of land in Pongil. The land they were residing on was under ownership dispute between Rajan and his neighbour, Vasantha. The neighbour had approached Neyyattinkara Principal Munsiff court in January stating that Rajan had encroached on her property. The court had then, in an order, prohibited constructions on the land.
Earlier through social media, the duo’s children disclosed Rajan’s statement against the police stating that they did not try to set the fire but the policeman’s attempt to shove off the lighter led to the mishap. Ranjith said the police came when the family was about to dine and had asked them to vacate the property immediately despite them requesting 30 minutes to do so. The children have accused a police officer of accepting bribe from Vasantha to evict them although the court had given the family time till January 4 to leave the house. The DGP has ordered a probe into the death of the couple following the allegations.
On Tuesday, Ranjith have filed a complaint to Thiruvananthapuram SP (Rural) accusing Vasantha, her brother and her son of bribing police officials to enact her wish to evict the family. In the complaint, they have even requested a CBI or Crime Branch probe into the case.
Earlier on Monday, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala urged the government to take up the security of the orphaned children. However, on Tuesday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has intervened and ordered that a house be constructed for the children and have instructed the district administration to immediately act on this matter. The government also will be sponsoring the children including their expenditure on education.