Three youth doused petrol on their friend and set him on fire, apparently angered by his pursuit of a female relative of one of them. The incident occurred near Vadipatti on Monday evening.
The victim escaped with burns on his back and hands after he leapt into a water tank.
Police said A.Senthil had ignored his friends’ warnings and persisted in his amorous interest in the girl.
On Monday, he was lured to an isolated area near the local crematorium by Manikandan and two others, plied with drink and spreadeagled as petrol was poured over him and a match struck.
When locals, alerted by screams, gathered, the assailants fled the scene.
The victim plunged into a water body to put out the flames.
The Vadipatti police arrested Manikandan and S. Mohan for attempted murder. Another accomplice, V. Nagarajan, is absconding.
All four worked in a tractor company in Vadipatti.