[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Indian man on fire hugs politician on TV

Spectator sets himself ablaze and embraces local politician during live TV debate in Uttar Pradesh state.

Last updated: 29 Apr 2014 17:32
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Indian bystanders attempt to douse the fire as a spectator set himself ablaze and embraced a local politician [AFP]

A television debate show in northern India has ended in horror after a spectator set himself ablaze and embraced a local politician, leaving both men fighting for their lives, police and a witness told AFP news agency.

The election show on India's state-owned national TV channel Doordarshan was being recorded in a park on Monday in Sultanpur, a town about 160km from the city of Lucknow.

 

A man, named by police as Durgesh Kumar Singh, emerged from a crowd of about 150 onlookers, doused himself in petrol and then grabbed the local leader of the Bahujan Samaj Party, Kamruzzama Fauji, engulfing the pair in flames.

Singh sustained burns on 95 percent of his body which are likely to be fatal, while Fauji was in a critical state with 75 percent burns, police said.

"This man suddenly came on the stage, poured petrol on himself and set himself on fire before tightly hugging one of the political guests," local photographer Pankaj Kumar Gupta told AFP.

"People were just too shocked to know what was happening," said Gupta, whose photos show the men engulfed in flames with spectators fleeing the scene.

Two other local politicians taking part in the show, Ram Kumar Singh and Chowdhary Hriday Ram Verma, also sustained minor burn injuries while trying to save the pair.

"The injured were first admitted to the district hospital here (in Sultanpur) and were then referred to Lucknow," said a statement from the police.

The motive for the incident is unknown.

The election, the world's biggest, will end on May 12.

Photographer Gupta said the show on Monday was called Janmanch 2014 (People's Forum 2014) featuring five local politicians which was coming to an end when the man suddenly appeared.

305

Source:
Agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Muslim charities claim discrimination after major UK banks began closing their accounts.
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Featured
Frustration grows in Kiev as pledges to end corruption and abuse of power stagnate after Maidan Square protest.
Thousands of Houthi supporters have called for the fall of Yemen's government. But what do the Houthis really want?
New ration reductions and movement restrictions have refugees from Myanmar anxious about their future in Thailand.
US lawyers say poor translations of election materials disenfranchise Native voters.
US drones in Pakistan have killed thousands since 2004. How have leaders defended or decried these deadly planes?
join our mailing list