A bank officer was found dead in West Tambaram on Tuesday, with his body charred. Police ruled out foul play and said that the man committed suicide by setting himself ablaze after pouring petrol in the early hours of Tuesday.
Residents and passers-by of Siva Shanmugham Street, West Tambaram, noticed the body and informed police.
V. Varadharaju, Deputy Commissioner of Police, St. Thomas Mount, visited the scene of crime. He told reporters later at Tambaram Taluk Government Hospital in Chromepet that they received information around 6 a.m.
At the scene of crime, they noticed a mobile phone, a water bottle that contained some petrol, a purse and some cards based on which they established the identity of the victim as D.Muralitharan. A manager at the Non-Banking Section of the Central Bank of India's Zonal Office in Egmore, Muralitharan was a native of Kallakurichi, Villupuram district.
His wife Rajalakshmi was living with their daughter Krithika, a class IX student, in Fairlands, Salem. Their son Navin Kumar was an engineering student. Muralitharan was living in a rented room on Burkit Road, T.Nagar. From Muralitharan's mobile phone, they made a call to the “last dialled” number – his wife's mobile.
Muralitharan went to Salem and told his wife on Saturday that he did not want to report back for duty. On Monday morning, he left Salem and spoke to his wife in the evening. Mr. Varadharaju said there were no external injuries other than those caused by the fire. He added that the victim had not gone for work for some weeks now.
Preliminary investigations and medical reports established that the death was due to self-immolation. The body was first taken to Tambaram Taluk Government Hospital in Chromepet, from where it was taken to Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, Chennai, and handed over to his relatives.