Woman teacher critical after self-immolation bid

February 8th, 2010 - 1:24 am ICT by IANS  

Kapurthala (Punjab), Feb 7 (IANS) A Bollywood-style protest atop a water tank in this Punjab town went terribly wrong Sunday when a woman teacher was critically burnt after she attempted to immolate herself to protest the state government’s alleged apathy towards teachers, doctors said
The victim was taken to the D.M.C. hospital in Ludhiana, 80 km from here, where doctors said that she had suffered nearly 90 percent burns and the chances of her survival were negligible.

Five education guarantee scheme (EGS) teachers had climbed up the water tank here to protest against the state’s education minister and chief minister not listening to their grievances, particularly regularization of service, over the last few months.

As hundreds of other teachers gathered below the water tank to join the protest, one of the teachers on the tank sprinkled petrol and set herself on fire. This led to complete chaos and even police officials, who had gathered there, could do little to save the teacher.

“A police official instigated the teachers on the tank to go ahead with the self-immolation threat,” one protesting teacher alleged.

Scores of other women teachers, who saw their colleague burning on the tank fainted while others cried inconsolably.

EGS teachers, in recent months have been cane-charged and arrested by the police following their protests.

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