Chennai Man Sets Self on Fire After Cops Beat Him for No Seat Belt

Manikandan alleged that the police beat him and called him names, before he decided to set himself on fire.

2 min read
Manikandan set himself on fire after allegedly being beaten by policemen.

A 21-year-old cab driver named Manikandan allegedly set himself on fire at the Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) in Chennai after an altercation with the police.

According to reports, traffic police allegedly beat up the driver for not wearing seatbelt.

The driver alleged that the police hit him with an iron rod as well. Upset over this treatment, the driver then came back to his vehicle and doused himself with petrol that he had kept in the car. He then set himself on fire.

He was then rushed to the Kilpauk Medical College hospital by the police who allegedly assaulted him. Manikandan has reportedly sustained 50 percent burns and is receiving treatment.

In a video that has since surfaced, Manikandan seems to be addressing an older man. In the video, he says:

Anna, the police hit me badly. They used my caste name and then hit me with a rod. When I tried to take a photo of it, they spoke badly about my sisters.

He also mentions that someone from Velachery has his mobile phone and original license. When The News Minute contacted the police handling the case, they denied the role of the traffic cops in the incident. An investigative official told The News Minute:

There was no such assault to our knowledge. But we will investigate the matter further and get to the bottom of it. The driver is now out of danger and is receiving treatment
Police Commissioner AK Viswanathan visited Manikandan in the hospital and said “We have conducted a preliminary enquiry. Necessary action will be taken against whoever erred.”

In November 2017, a policeman from Kallupalam in Kanyakumari district was caught on camera hitting a bike rider with his lathi for not wearing a helmet and speeding past when asked to stop. The biker was grievously injured.

Following the incident, outraged passersby fought back, clashing with the police. The incident ended in a scuffle between the cops and the public. The constable who attacked the rider was placed under suspension following the incident.

(Originally published on The News Minute and republished here with permission)

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