Families cause a ruckus at mortuary over engineer's body

MALACCA - Two families traded insults and caused a ruckus outside the Malacca Hospital mortuary over the funeral arrangements for an engineer who died from burns to his body.

The family of the dead man accused his widow of driving the engineer to his death with her alleged incessant nagging and ridicule.

The 42-year-old engineer died after dousing himself with petrol following a heated argument with his wife at their home in Taman Sutera, Batu Berendam, near here, at around 4pm on Oct 15.

He died at the hospital at about 11am yesterday.

His family prevented the 41-year-old woman from taking back the engineer's body to the couple's home and to make the funeral arrangement as they were furious at her for allegedly "mentally abusing" him and causing his death.

The situation became rowdy and so tense that the police had to be called to calm both sides.

It took the policemen about four hours to appease the two families.

"We finally gave them the solution that the body will be cremated straight away after the autopsy is done," said state deputy CID chief Supt P.R. Gunarajan, adding the post-mortem is expected to be completed today.

The engineer's neighbours told police the couple, who had three children from their marriage of over 20 years, often fought over family matters.

Following an argument on Tuesday, the man hastily walked out of the house.

When he returned home about two hours later at around 6pm, he brought a bottle of petrol and right before his wife's eyes poured the fuel over his body and set himself on fire.

The victim, described as a quiet person, had 40 per cent burns on his body and was warded at the inten- sive care unit of the Malacca Hospital.

Supt Gunarajan said the victim's family was emotionally upset and could not forgive his wife

"We managed to console all of them and allow the funeral arrangement to go on smoothly without any problem," he added.