Jamphel Yeshi, on Monday, became the third person espousing the Tibetan cause to have given himself up to searing flames in the city’s history.
He also became the third person to send the Delhi Police scrambling to dust-off their blankets and fire extinguishers.
Currently swinging between life and death after setting himself ablaze, Yeshi joined the gradually swelling ranks of such politically-motivated activists to have taken to self-immolation at public gatherings.
He has understandably, given the Delhi Police much food for thought.
“We have made all arrangements to ensure that such an incident does not occur again. Officers deployed at gatherings of such a nature have been given fire extinguishers, blankets and even sandbags,” said a senior police officer.
Though blankets and fire extinguishers, police claimed, were part of their usual repertoire when securing vast public gatherings, officers have now been directed to keep these ‘ready at all times’ and be prepared for ‘such eventualities’.
“Usually, there are between 35 and 40 companies which are deployed at Jantar Mantar. To ensure that such incidents are preempted, three to four of these will now keep an eye on participants solely to prevent immolation bids,” the officer said.
Last year in November, Sherab Tsedor, 35, set himself ablaze outside the Chinese embassy in Chanakyapuri.
Yeshi seems to have followed the examples of at least 30 of his counterparts in China.
The incident, however, bears the starkest resemblance to a fatal self immolation bid by Thupten Ngodup, a 60-year-old Tibetan monk, allegedly instigated by the police’s attempt to disrupt his indefinite hunger strike at the Jantar Mantar, the same venue where Yeshi immolated self.
Meanwhile, Tenzin Tsundu, a Tibetan activist, was taken under custody by the police as a ‘preventive measure’ from an undisclosed location in south Delhi on Tuesday evening.