An unidentified man attempted to set on fire the owner of a private financing firm inside his office at Kaithapoyil, near Thamarassery, in Kozhikode district on Friday.
Saji Kuruvila, the businessman who sustained serious burns, was admitted to the Kozhikode Government Medical College Hospital.
The police said the incident occurred around 2.30 p.m. when Mr. Kuruvila was in his office.
The assailant, who arrived with two bottles of petrol in hand, suddenly emptied one of them on Mr. Kuruvila and set him on fire. Before this, he had thrown chilly powder on the victim’s eyes.
It was a group of nearby shopkeepers and local people who doused the flames on the 52-year -old and rushed him to the hospital. As it was raining, the fire was extinguished fast.
The victim jumped down from the first floor of the building complex in a frantic attempt to save life.
He was also suspected of suffering multiple fractures, the police said.
The accused managed to escape from the spot when others were busy with the rescue attempts.
The police recovered the key of a motorbike, one bottle of petrol and a helmet, allegedly used by the attacker. As the attacker was spotted wearing a red shirt, the police took into custody some of the suspected persons from the spot. They also registered a case under Section 307 (punishment for murder attempt) of the Indian Penal Code.
Sources said one of the customers who recently visited Mr. Kuruvila for processing a loan request had a clash with him at the office. Soon after the clash, Mr. Kuruvila had sent the photograph of the man and his other details to one of his close family members for verification.
The investigation would be strengthened to find out the man and his suspected involvement in the latest incident. Also, the police got a video clipping of the suspected attacker.
Siddique, a trader in the area, said there were no other staff members at the office when the incident occurred.
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