Rameswaram: A 31-year old man attempted self-immolation near the tahsildhar office here on Wednesday, upset over alleged foul language used by revenue officials when he approached them pleading for change of ration shop, police said.
Palani of Thangachimadam here claimed that the Taluk Supply officer asked him "to eat clay" when he told him that he was unable to get essential commodities, including rice, as his ration card was yet to be transferred to the shop he wanted.
Police said Palani had shifted his residence and had applied for change of ration shop. Though the card was promptly deleted from the existing shop, officials did not transfer it to the new shop.
As he could not get even rice, (monthly 20 kg) offered free of cost, he visited the taluk supply officer several times in the last three months.
During the last visit, when he told the officer that he could not even get rice to eat, the officer allegedly had commented "eat clay if you don't get rice. We are not responsible," police said.
Hurt by the words of the officer, he poured kerosene over himself and tried to set himself ablaze in front of the tahsildhar office.
As a junior level revenue official tried to pacify him, people in the area persuaded him not to take any extreme step.
Meanwhile, N Murali, president of the local consumer forum, alleged that the tahsildhar office was very far away and people were made to visit it innumerable times even for simple work like patta transfer.