Staff Reporter

KOLLAM: The rising number of custodial deaths came in handy for a 62-year-old man to evade getting arrested by the police.

After dousing himself with kerosene, Raju Achayan threatened the police that he would set himself on fire if arrested. The incident took place on Tuesday evening at Sasthamcotta near here.

Raju Achayan is a sand contractor. Earlier, in the day he assaulted a man, Jaladharan, engaged in sand-mining operations. The latter lodged a complaint with the Sasthamcotta police and a police team arrived at Raju Achayan's house to arrest him. After briefly answering questions from the police, Achayan soon entered his house and came drenched in kerosene.

He then whipped out a matchbox and threatened self-immolation if the police made any attempt to arrest him.

The police team soon fled the scene. After the police left, Achayan took a bath washed away the kerosene and relaxed at home.