A 28-year-old Tibetan activist suffered critical burn injuries after he set himself on fire during a demonstration against the impending visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao at Jantar Mantar on Monday morning.
The incident took place at around 11.15am in the premises of the Janata Dal (United) party office. More than 500 Tibetan activists and supporters attended the demonstration that was organised by the Tibetan Youth Congress (TYC). Protesters violated section 144 of CrPC by taking their protest on to restricted areas in the New Delhi district.
Hu Jintao will be arriving in Delhi later in the week to attend a summit of the BRIC nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
Jamyang Yeshi poured kerosene oil all over his body and set himself ablaze outside the office of All India Freedom Fighter’s & Successor’s Organisation.
He later ran out of the premises and collapsed in front of the stage from which senior TYC members were addressing the crowd. Police and protesters used carpets to douse the fire.
“Yeshi suffered 90% burn injuries and was immediately rushed to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, where his condition was stated to be critical,” said a senior police officer, adding that the demonstration was organised despite the Delhi Police denying permission for it.
At around 2pm, the protesters left Jantar Mantar and marched towards the Chinese Embassy. Police, however, stopped them near the UCO bank branch at Parliament Street. This enraged protesters, who turned violent and clashed with police.
To pacify the agitated protesters, additional DCP (New Delhi) Sezu P Kuruvilla climbed on the roof of a parked car and requested them to maintain order. At around 5.15 pm, protesters were forcibly removed from the spot in police vehicles and buses.
“It was not a pre-planned step taken by Yeshi. What he did was the result of the frustration that has been bottling up inside Tibetans since so many years,” said Yeshi Tharchen, social service secretary, TYC.