Varanasi: Protester attempts self-immolation to seek quotas for poor, arrested | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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Varanasi: Protester attempts self-immolation to seek quotas for poor, arrested

Four other youngsters were also arrested on charges of violating the prohibitory orders imposed under section 144 of the CrPC in the district.

lucknow Updated: Oct 02, 2017 23:11 IST
HT Correspondent
Avinash Anand, who tried to immolate himself, with a friend in police custody.
Avinash Anand, who tried to immolate himself, with a friend in police custody.(HT Photo)

A man tried to set himself afire near Padma Shri intersection, in the vicinity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public relations office at Varanasi, to demand reservations for the poor on Monday.

Police foiled his bid and took him into custody on charges of attempted suicide.

Sources identified the man as Avinash Anand, a former student union leader who believes in quota based on economic status instead of caste. He leads a group of likeminded youngsters in the district, called the Arthik Adharit Arakashan Samaj.

Police said it began when Anand and a number of other protesters launched a march from Ravidas Gate in Lanka area. However, police stopped them at Padma Shri intersection and tried convincing them to halt their march.

Even as they were conversing, Anand suddenly doused himself with fuel and lit a match. However, police promptly extinguished the flames – managing to limit the damage to a burn on his right hand. Anand was then rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was declared out of danger.

Four other youngsters were also arrested on charges of violating the prohibitory orders imposed under section 144 of the CrPC in the district. They were identified as Gaurish Singh, Devendra Singh, Ashu and Harendra Kumar.

Gaurish Singh said they had taken out the protest march in an attempt to make the government implement reservations based on economic status. However, some “anti-social elements” tried to disrupt their peaceful exercise by throwing stones, he added.