A 36-year-old autorickshaw driver self-immolated in front of the Kothavalchavadi police station on Thursday.
He took the extreme step allegedly due to the treatment meted out by the police during an investigation in a traffic case on Wednesday.
The police said that K. Ezhumalai, a resident of Demellows Road in Choolai, came to the police station around 2.30 p.m. on Thursday and standing outside, blamed the police for treating him badly a day before. He then suddenly poured kerosene on himself, set his body on fire and tried to walk into the police station, but collapsed. A few policemen and onlookers rushed to put off the fire and took him to the Kilpauk Medical College Hospital but he died on the way.
Speaking on the case registered against him on Wednesday, police said Ezhumalai had been travelling towards Parry’s Corner from Basin Bridge in his autorickshaw when he collided into a bike. Following an argument, A. Thamin Hanzari, the owner of the bike, filed a case against Ezhumalai with the traffic investigation team of the Elephant Gate police, whose office is located on the first floor of the Kothavalchavadi police station.
Ezhumalai was questioned by a team led by the traffic sub-inspector, Rajkumar. Meanwhile, Ezhumalai’s wife, Manimegalai (27) also came to the office and pleaded with the complainant to withdraw the case as they were poor and could not pay the damages claimed by Hanzari. After sometime, Hanzari decided to withdraw the complaint and the police warned Ezhumalai against repeating the offence.