A man was charred to death and two others injured at an old-age home in the Gole Market area, when a 38-year-old man living there allegedly set it afire early on Monday morning. The victim, a septuagenarian, was identified as Arora.
According to the police, the accused, Suresh Kumar, had doused the shelter hall, which he shared with the elderly men, and set it afire while the others were sleeping. Officials said the accused, who was mentally disturbed, has admitted that he did it to attract media attention. The accused, who hails from Kerala, has been arrested, Additional Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) K C Dwivedi said.
The incident occurred at the Chetanalaya Old Age Home located on Mandir Marg near Gole Market around 3.30 am, while the victims were sleeping in the dormitory. A senior police official said that Kumar had poured petrol in the hall, which had 15 beds for the homeless, and set the place on fire before locking the door and heading for the terrace.
After being rescued, the victims were rushed to the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital. Arora — who had received 100 per cent burns — died there. Two others, Mohan Lal and Raghubir, who received 10 per cent burns, were discharged after treatment.
All the affected persons were in the 72-80 age group. The trio had reportedly been staying in the shelter for over two years.
Sources said that when a guard chanced upon Kumar, the latter told him that he had done it for fun and “because he wanted the media to know about his sufferings”. Stating that the accused was speaking coherently, a police officer said: “He told us that he had tried to kill himself earlier by consuming acid, due to which he damaged his food pipe. Now, to survive, he consumes liquid through a tube attached to his stomach.”