Besant Nagar-based businessman was said to be heavily in debt

A 58-year-old man allegedly committed suicide by setting himself ablaze in his car in Besant Nagar on Sunday morning.

According to police, K. Anand Pillai ran a company that took contracts for constructing railway overbridges and other railway-related works. He had an office opposite the Besant Nagar Beach. Preliminary investigation revealed that he had lot of debts.

Police claimed that the deceased had left a suicide note addressed to them, in which he said no one was responsible for his death. A year ago, he shifted the office to H - 199 in 33 cross street in the same locality. It was on the second floor of the quiet residential lane. “He was a friendly person and well-behaved,” said Jagan, an employee of the deceased. On Sunday morning, he had asked Jagan to visit the house of the manager of his company in Aynavaram.

“Around 10.45 a.m. on Sunday, we heard a noise similar to that of an explosion. I initially thought it was from a transformer that had burst. Then, a woman told me that a car was up in flames,” said Ramanathan, a watchman at an apartment complex in the same street.

The watchman, along with few others, tried to douse the flames. Bharat, another resident, said: “As we began pouring water on the vehicle, we suddenly heard the sound of the horn. Then, we saw the man’s head and fingers. Immediately, we alerted the fire service department.”

The interior of the car was completely burnt and an empty kerosene can was found inside the vehicle, police said.

The Fire and Rescue Service personnel said they received the call around 11.30 a.m and the fire was put out in about half-an-hour, police said.

The victim’s father reached the spot and identified the body. Kesavan, who was working as a driver for Anand Pillai, broke down upon seeing the car. He recognised the deceased’s footwear. The police officer said that they would be able to confirm the cause of death only after the post-mortem examination is completed.

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