Tortured by usurer, family tries self-immolation at Tirunelveli Collectorate

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During interrogation, Aruldas told the police that the usurer was harassing and issuing death threats

After harassed and threatened by a usurer, a family of five tried self-immolation at the main entrance to the Collectorate here on Thursday. Alert police personnel, however, foiled the attempt.

Aruldas, 35, of Mela Karunkulam under Munneerpallam police station limits, came to the Collectorate at 11 a.m along with his wife Mariammal, 35, and three children, aged between five and eight.

He sprinkled kerosene on them when the police on duty saw his act and immediately thwarted the suicide attempt by overpowering him.

During interrogation, Aruldas told the police that he had borrowed ₹50,000 from moneylender from the same area by mortgaging a property document. Though he had paid ₹2 lakh as interest, the usurer was harassing and issuing death threats as he could not settle the loan with interest at one go as being demanded by the moneylender.

“The usurer is forcing me to register the property in his name. Hence, we decided to immolate ourselves on the Collectorate premises,” Aruldas told the police. He was later taken to Palayamkottai police station for further interrogation.

After usury victim, Esakkimuthu of Kasidharmam burnt himself, wife and two children, inside the Collectorate on October 22, 2017, police frisk the public before allowing them through the main entrance.

Those in distress or having suicidal tendencies could seek help and counselling by calling State’s health helpline 104 or Chennai-based Sneha’s suicide prevention helpline 044-24640050.

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