Dispute over land claims couple's life in Kerala

Dispute over land claims couple's life in Kerala; children dig grave for parents

The left-front government was in the defensive over the incident as the children alleged that the police were responsible for the death of their parents

A dispute with neighbour over three cents of land has ended up in the death of a couple and their two teenaged children orphaned had to even dig the grave for parents themselves.

The heart-rending incident took place at Neyyatinkara on the suburbs of Thiruvananthapuram and the state government has now decided to provide housing for the children, while many political outfits offered to take care of the children.

Rajan, 47, and his wife Ambili, 40, suffered serious burns on December 22 after they caught fire while staging a protest by dousing themselves in petrol when police and revenue authorities turned up to evict them from their house situated on around three cents of land that was caught up in an ownership dispute with neighbour. Both succumbed to the burns on Monday.

When their children, Renjith and Rahul, conveyed the last wish of their parents that they should be buried in the disputed land itself, no one was ready to prepare the grave owing to the land dispute. Hence the children themselves prepared the grave in the disputed property where they have been living for years. The children alleged that they were cheated by their lawyer and hence the neighbour got a court order in her favour over the land.

The left-front government was in the defensive over the incident as the children alleged that the police were responsible for the death of their parents. It was when police tried to grab a lighter from Rajan's hand that the couple accidentally caught fire. The children also alleged lapses on the part of the police in rushing the two to hospital.