HYDERABAD: A day after a woman tahsildar Vijaya Reddy was allegedly burnt alive by a man in her office at Abdullapurmet on Monday, her personal driver Gurunatham who tried saving her succumbed to injuries in DRDO Apollo Hospitals on Tuesday morning. He is survived by his 8-month pregnant wife and two- and-half- year old son.

Gurunatham was a lorry driver who later started working as Vijaya Reddy’s personal driver around 6 years ago.

The gruesome incident happened at around 1.30 PM when K Suresh, a tenant farmer came to the office in a bike, poured petrol on her and set her afire using a lighter within half-an-hour of entering the chamber. She came out screaming and following which Vijaya's attender and driver Gurunatham rushed to the room, broke open the doors and tried to douse the fire using floor mats available in the office.He suffered 85 % burns and was shifted to the DRDO Apollo Hospitals near Hyderabad on Monday, where succumbed to burn injuries.

As per preliminary information, he had some land dispute and approached the tahsildar over the matter, Police and Revenue officials said. Rachakonda Police Commissioner Mahesh M Bhagwat said, adding the assailant also suffered burns in the attack and had collapsed after running for some distance from the office in a bid to escape. He was taken into custody and hospitalised in a serious condition.

The shocking incident triggered protests by Revenue department employees across Telangana, who say that they are fearing for their lives over such land issues.

Another issue that has come to the fore is the security of the Revenue staff as there are no safety measures or CC cameras in place in these offices. What was also appalling was that there was no fire safety equipment in place in the office when this incident happened.

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