Kolkata, August 9: High drama was witnessed inside the court room of acting Chief Justice Nishita Mhatre of Calcutta High Court when an 81-year-old man, who lost a land-related case in several courts, poured on himself a liquid which he claimed was inflammable.
However, as Ganesh Majhi was about to pull out a lighter from his pocket, he was apprehended by a policeman and lawyers present in the court room.
The man claimed the liquid was kerosene.
He was handed over to Kolkata Police personnel, who made him sit at its office at the high court.
The acting chief justice took a lenient view of the incident on humanitarian ground considering the man's age and asked that he be sent home.
"One Ganesh Majhi tried to self-immolate himself, but it was in vain due to the prompt intervention of on-duty police personnel. He was taken to the high court police office," a senior officer of Kolkata Police said.
"Majhi was sent home in the evening with his relatives, who were called," the officer said.
Majhi, who said he is a resident of Behala area in the south-western part of the city, entered the court room around noon wearing a dhoti and kurta and said he had lost cases relating to his claim over a piece of land at the Alipore ACJM court as also an appeal at the Alipore district court.
He further said that he had also lost an appeal before the high court in 2015 and then took out a plastic bottle and poured its contents on his body.
Majhi claimed to have worked as a caretaker of a Behala factory which has been out of operation for years.
He further claimed that he had been promised a piece of land within the factory premises by its owners, but after it was sold off to a building promoter he was evicted.