A man who set himself ablaze and embraced a BSP politician during the recording of an election debate in Sultanpur, about 140 km from Lucknow, died at a government hospital in the state capital late on Monday night, within hours of the shocking incident.
Bystanders attempt to douse the blaze as BSP Kamruzzama Fauji and a man named by police as Durgesh Kumar Singhb are engulfed in flames during an election television debate. (AFP Photo)
The condition of the local politician Kamruzzama Fauji of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), who suffered over 75% burn injuries, is also very critical at a private hospital in Lucknow.
The show was being recorded for Doordarshan in a park where the incident occurred.
Inspector general of police, Lucknow zone, Subhash Chandra said the motive behind the young man Durgesh Kumar's act is still unknown.
He said a preliminary probe indicated that Durgesh was a history-sheeter from Mau and had not gone home for the last one year. He had put up at a Sultanpur hotel after returning from Lucknow on Monday.
The IG said the man, who appeared mentally unstable, used to file applications frequently against his father and his elder brother.
In one of his applications, he had threatened to immolate himself in Lucknow but disappeared before the police could trace him.
Police have found a mobile phone number from his belongings on the basis of which they are further probing the reason for his step.
The official said Durgesh and Fauji were rushed to Lucknow on Monday night after the doctors at Sultanpur district hospital referred them here.
He said Durgesh succumbed to his injuries during treatment at Shyama Prasad Mukherjee hospital in Hazratganj while Fauji was admitted to SIPS hospital opposite King George's Medical University trauma centre in the state capital.
Doctors said the victims of over 40% burns had very less chances of survival as they are prone to infections, he added.
A local photographer Pankaj Kumar Gupta told journalists that Durgesh suddenly emerged from the audience and came on the stage, doused himself with petrol and set himself on fire before tightly hugging Fauji.
Two other local politicians Ram Kumar Singh and Chowdhary Hriday Ram Verma, who were also taking part in the show, sustained minor burn injuries while trying to save the others.
Gupta said the show Janmanch 2014 (People's Forum 2014) featuring five local politicians was coming to an end when the incident took place.
"Within minutes, the Doordarshan team turned off their cameras and packed all their equipment," he said.Watch: Youth attempts self-immolation during live TV show in UP