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21 Mar 2019, Edition - 1346, Thursday

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Officials abetted self-immolation in Tirunelveli, say human rights activists

Covai Post Network

The open self-immolation bid by a family in Tirunelveli which left three dead on Monday is the result of the apathy of official authorities and they should be tried for abetting suicide, according to human rights activisits.

Daily wage labourer P Isakimuthu (28) of Kasitharmam, along with his wife I Subbulakshmi (25) attempted self-immolation after setting on fire their daughters Madhi Sarvinya and Akshaya Baranika in front of the Tirunelveli district collectorate after being harassed by a money lender.

While the mother and two daughters succumbed to burn injuries at the Tirunelveli Government Hospital, Isakimuthu’s condition is critical.

Coimbatore Human Rights Forum chairperson VP Sarathi told The Covai Post that under law, collection of excessive rate of interests is prohibited and the government officials failed to stop such practices even after the affected person brought it to the their knowledge.

The right to equal protection of law under Article 14 was denied even after the person raised the issues with government officials. “So, it is a case of human rights violation,” he said.

A simple FIR against the money lender could have prevented this incident. This was not done despite repeated complaints to the District Collector and the police, Sarathi pointed out.

“There is the general public view that government officials can do nothing against these violators. This drove the person to commit suicide. In fact, it is not suicide, but murder by the officials who failed to do their duty,” he added.

An intervention by the State Human Rights Commission or the Government to come to some settlement or an inquiry into the matter could have saved the lives of these people. There is no use in giving relief amount to the family of the affected, he added.

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