Moneylender commits suicide after setting couple on fire

Auto rickshaw driver Amalraj, 47, who ran a chit fund, set disabled couple Shanmugam, 50 and Rajeshwari, 42, on fire before setting himself on fire, because he failed in his attempts to collect the money they owed him. Amalraj poured petrol over himself and Shanmugam and lit it, and a small amount of the petrol fell on Rajeshwari who was in a wheel chair and caught fire when she tried to save her husband. Shanmugam's brother-in-law who lived on the ground floor tried to put out the fire and alerted the ambulance service. The victims were rushed to hospital where both Shanmugam and Amalraj who suffered over 70%burns, died. Rajeshwari who suffered 40% burns is said to be in serious condition. The couple who were both crippled by polio allegedly owed Amalraj Rs.70,000 and when he demanded the debt be paid the couple said they only owed Rs.50,000, and sought more time because the small shop they owned was not making a profit. Amalraj had already filed a complaint with the police to whom the couple had given a written assurance that they would settle the dues soon. Police have registered a case against Amalraj.