Salem: Unable to bear the taunts of his classmates, R. Karthikeyan, a Plus Two student in a government hostel for Dalits, set himself on fire on Sunday night at Rasipuram in Namakkal district and is battling for his life at the Salem Goverment hopsital with severe burn injuries.
In a poignant 18-page letter, 17-year-old boy Karthikeyan said that his classmates had teased him and called him a “transgender.” As he was a shy boy with a few feminine mannerisms, his classmates in the Government higher secondary school in Rasipuram often mocked him, police said.
Around midnight on Sunday, in the corridors of the Adidravidar welfare hostel at Rasipuram, Karthikeyan doused himself with kerosene from a bottle and set himself on fire. As a screaming Karthikeyan lay in flames, his younger brother R.Subash, who stays in a nearby room in the hostel, rushed to his rescue. The hostel warden A.Annamalai rushed him to the Rasipuram GH from where he was shifted to the Salem government hospital for intensive treatment.
The Namakkal SP, S.R. Senthil Kumar said that the boy had not named any student in his suicide note. However, if any of his classmates are guilty of having taunted and teased him, action would be initiated, he said.
Karthikeyan, who was living with his aunt in Namakkal, had shifted to the Adidravidar hostel four years ago. While departmental action has been initiated against hostel warden Annamalai, watchman Muthsawamy has been suspended for alleged negligence.
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