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TN: Two commit suicide over Lankan issue

Source: PTI
March 23, 2009 20:24 IST
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Two persons committed suicide today in two separate incidents in Tamil Nadu, allegedly distressed over the plight of Tamils in war-torn Sri Lanka.

Marimuthu (60), a former Congress activist, set himself ablaze at Sivakasi in Virudhunagar district and police claimed to have recovered a letter in which he had urged Congress President Sonia Gandhi to intervene and stop the ethnic war.

Marimuthu, in the letter, said: "Neither the Tamil Nadu Government nor Centre are serious about ending the conflict in the island nation."

He had also mentioned sending a telegram to her, seeking her intervention, the police said. Before setting himself ablaze after pouring kerosene over his body, Marimuthu hoisted the Congress flag in front of his house, police said. In the second incident, Balasundaram, a cook from Sri Lanka living in India since 1972, allegedly immolated himself at Alangudi in neighbouring Pudukottai district, upset over the situation in Sri Lanka.

A member of DMDK, headed by actor Vijaykanth, he expressed anger over Congress "not taking any steps to protect Lankan Tamils," police, quoting the initial report said. After a heated debate with his friends, he returned to his house late last night and immolated himself. Attempts by his neighbours to save him proved futile, police said. He is survived by his wife and two sons.

At least 11 persons have so far committed self immolation in different districts of the state in the past few months, calling for action on the Sri Lankan Tamils issue.

Before immolating themselves, both Marimuthu and Balasundaram had expressed divergent views on possible alliance between the Congress and DMDK for the Lok Sabha polls, police said. While Marimuthu favoured an alliance between the two, the latter was against it, they said.

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