Kumari Cooray who hit the headlines after she set herself on fire in front of the residence of SLMC leader Rauff Hakeem, held a match stick and threatened to set herself on fire if she was prevented from seeing Mr. Hakeem, an eye witness said yesterday.
Giving evidence at the inquest into her death, Pattani Mahendran, a private security guard of Mr. Hakeem`s Kollupitiya residence told City Coroner Edward Ahangama that Ms. Cooray took a bottle from a bag and poured some liquid over her body before threatening to set herself on fire.
The guard said on Thursday morning, he was on duty at the main gate of the SLMC leader`s residence together with two other police officers Sgt. Samaraweera and Police driver Upali.
He said about 2.40 a.m. Ms. Cooray came in a three wheeler to Mr. Hakeem`s residence and requested that she be allowed to see the SLMC leader. When he had declined, Ms. Cooray had gone back and returned after about half an hour carrying a bag and wanted to meet Mr. Hakeem.
He said when Ms. Cooray was told that the gate would be opened only at 6 am she had wanted to speak to Mr. Hakeem over the phone. Then she turned hostile and demanded that the gate be opened, he said.
Then she had scaled the parapet wall and got on to the roof of the guard room. She had then threatened the guard that she would make a complaint of molestation if she was stopped from entering the compound.
As Sgt. Samaraweera had come to the scene, Ms. Cooray set fire to herself and came running after him and the sergeant but she collapsed near the toilet, he said. The victim was then rushed to the National Hospital after dousing the fire with water obtained from a nearby barrel.