A 48-year-old man has alleged that he was set ablaze by two policemen as a reaction to intervening in a confrontation between them and his auto rickshaw driver son over an unpaid extortion amount in south Delhi.
While the victim, identified as Uday Chand, is currently undergoing treatment at the Safdurjung Hospital where he was admitted with 85% burns, the two police personnel in question - constables Raj and Suresh Kumar - have been placed under suspension pending a departmental enquiry into the matter.
The incident was reported from the Neb Sarai area on Saturday evening. The victim's son, Navin, who is the main complainant in the case, told the police that the accused constables had demanded Rs 20,000 from him for being 'allowed to ply' his auto in the Sainik Farms area recently.
"I couldn't afford to pay them so much and was only able to offer Rs 7,500," Navin said. "They took this money from me but warned me about paying the remaining amount soon."
Seeing his son's frustration at not being able to pay the remaining amount, Navin told the police, his father went to talk to the constables on Saturday evening in a bid to seek more time.
"When he tried to reason with them, they took him aside, poured petrol on him and set him on fire," Navin claimed even as the police quoted eyewitnesses as saying that Uday Chand had, in fact, set himself on fire. The police said investigations were underway.