Eviction drive in Chennai: MK Stalin announces solatium for a man who died after immolating himself!

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has on Monday - May 9 announced solatium to a man who passed away in Chennai after immolating himself to protest the government's eviction drive in the city. 60-year-old man Kannaiyan had set him on fire on Sunday against the government's action of evicting the people living in Govindsamy Nagar, Chennai. 

The Chief Minister has said Rs 10 lakh ex gratia will be given to Kannaiyan's family. According to reports, Kannaiyan had opposed the demolition drive of the Water Resources Department and the TN Urban Habitat Development Board carried out at Govindsamy Nagar, near Buckingham Canal in Chennai. While the authorities were evicting the people from the area, Kannaiyan had immolated himself to protest against the eviction drive. 

He was rushed to the Kilpauk General Hospital. He was getting treated for a critical condition. Amid the treatments, he had breathed his last in the morning hours of Monday which had sparked fresh protests in the area. The residents of Govindsamy Nagar had protested Kannaiyan's death and the eviction on Monday. It has been reported that after Kannaiyan had immolated himself, there was a melee between the locals and the government officials.

The residents had demanded the government provide alternative accommodation with which they were ready to move out of their residences. The children in the area had held banners and placards against the government's botched eviction drive with no concrete solution to accommodate the people. Several residents who were evicted are staying at the Greenways railway station premises until they get an alternate accommodation. 

A letter signed by several NGOs had questioned the government on what basis the residents were relocated from the area to the outskirts. The letter said, "The sudden appearance of bulldozers demolishing houses may create traumatic experiences for the children and stress for a long time", as the eviction drive is being carried out when children are getting ready to appear for examinations.