Man sets himself ablaze near prime minister’s office (Lead)

February 14th, 2009 - 9:29 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Feb 14 (IANS) A man in his mid 30s set himself ablaze Saturday afternoon near the prime minister’s office at South Block here, the police said. He was taken to hospital where his condition was critical.

“The incident took place at around 3.30 p.m. The man, identified as Abhishek Kumar, set himself on fire. He was taken to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital where he is undergoing treatment,” Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (New Delhi) I.B. Rani told IANS.

“He suffered 80 percent burn injuries and is in serious condition. No suicide note has been recovered from his possession. He is in his mid 30s,” Rani said.

“He is from Ranchi in Jharkhand. He told us that he was trying to meet the prime minister for the last five days but the security guards used to rebuff him,” a police officer said.

“Today (Saturday) he reached the place at around 3:25. He poured kerosene oil on himself and set himself on fire. After this a PCR call was made. He wants to say something to the prime minister,” the police officer added.

Eyewitnesses said none of the policeman present came forward to help Kumar. Instead, passersby came forward and helped douse the fire.

“He told us that he has working in Kuwait as a computer professional. We don’t have any details about his family. He is currently unfit to make a statement,” the police officer said.

“Further investigations are on. We are waiting for him to get fit so that his statement can be recorded.”

In May 2007, a 42-year-old businessman Kishori Lal Sehgal had attempted suicide just outside the prime minister’s 7 Race Course Road residence.

He had shot himself in the shoulder in order to “attract attention”, as he was upset with his wife’s alleged illicit relations with someone. He claimed that he was depressed and was being harassed and threatened by my wife and her lover.

The incident had forced the security agencies to beef up security in the vicinity of the prime minister’s residence and have a closer look at the traffic arrangements.

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