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Priest ends life by setting himself afire

Bengaluru: A 45-year-old priest reportedly committed suicide by setting himself ablaze in his car in a playground in Vishweshwariah Layout in Kumbalgodu on Thursday afternoon. 

The deceased, Shivashankar Hebbar, lived at Jnanajyothi Layout in Kumbalgodu and worked as a priest in a temple located near his house. Around noon on Thursday, Hebbar pulled his Maruti 800 into an empty space under a tree in a playground. 

Then he took out a can of petrol, sat in the car and poured it over himself and set fire. As shocked members of the public saw him afire in the automobile, they called the police and the fire brigade. But by the time the fire fighters could rescue Hebbar, his body had charred. 

Police suspect that the priest took the extreme step over some family dispute but the exact motive for the suicide is unclear. They are also investigating whether Hebbar actually set himself ablaze or the car got caught in an accidental fire. 

His wife works for a mobile phone service provider, police added. For now, a case of unnatural death has been registered at the Kumbalgodu police station.

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