Saji Kuruvila, the financier who suffered serious burns in a murder attempt by a youth at Kaithappoyil on Friday, died of injuries at the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital on Saturday. The 52-year-old had suffered 90 per cent burns in the assault by the youth whose loan request was allegedly turned down by Mr. Kurvila a few weeks ago.

The police said Mr. Kuruvila had managed to identify the suspect from a photograph he was shown while recording his dying declaration at the hospital. One of the suspects, detained by the investigation team from the spot soon after the murder attempt, was released on the basis of Mr. Kuruvila’s statement.

The police said the suspect would be nabbed soon on the basis of the victim’s statement. It was a photograph taken by Mr. Kuruvila himself that helped the investigators to identify the accused, who managed to flee from the spot. The police also secured a video clipping in which the accused was seen visiting the office of the businessman.

The suspected youth was allegedly taking revenge on the private financier as his loan request was reportedly rejected citing ineligibility. The youth had brought only a small quantity of gold to pawn at the firm and it was not sufficient to cover the amount he demanded. Sources said he had later locked horns with Mr. Kuruvila on the issue.

The burn injuries were very severe as the attacker had poured nearly one litre of petrol on the victim before setting him afire at his workplace. The assailant had also carried another bottle of petrol to set ablaze the office space. Mr. Kuruvila was unable to guess the move of the attacker as he had first blinded him by throwing chilli powder on the face. There were no other staff members in the office.

The police said the assailant had also suffered serious injuries on his body as he jumped down from the first floor of the office building in the attempt to escape. Though some of the local shop owners had managed to douse the flames, Mr. Kuruvila was taken to the hospital in a very critical condition. On Saturday, the body was moved to the mortuary after post-mortem.

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