GUWAHATI, India: An Indian man died on Monday after setting himself on fire over the denial of land rights by the northeast Assam state government, officials said.
Pranab Boro, a 45-year-old farmer activist, set himself ablaze after pouring kerosene oil over himself in Guwahati city, Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswas Sarma told AFP.
“He was admitted to the hospital with 100 percent burn injuries and despite best efforts by doctors, he died,” said Sarma.
Policemen desperately tried to extinguish flames with water and blankets as a severely charred Boro writhed on the floor surrounded by news cameras.
Boro, a member of activist group Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity, took the drastic step after the state government rejected land right demands for 85,000 families living in Assam.
“We are shocked at what had happened today, but we cannot grant land rights to people residing in forest and wetlands. We can always work out some alternative arrangements,” Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told AFP.
The rejection triggered protests and road and railway blockades in various parts of the state, reports said.