Burning man hugs politician on TV

2014-04-29 19:22
Indian bystanders attempt to douse the blaze as BSP politician Kamruzzama Fauji and a man named by police as Durgesh Kumar Singhb are engulfed in flames during an election television debate.  (AFP)

Indian bystanders attempt to douse the blaze as BSP politician Kamruzzama Fauji and a man named by police as Durgesh Kumar Singhb are engulfed in flames during an election television debate. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Lucknow - A television debate show in northern India ended in horror after a spectator set himself ablaze and embraced a local politician, leaving both men fighting for their lives, police said on Tuesday.

The election show on India's state-owned national TV channel Doordarshan was being pre-recorded in a park on Monday in Sultanpur, a town about 160km from the city of Lucknow.

A man, named by police as Durgesh Kumar Singh, emerged from a crowd of about 150 onlookers, doused himself in petrol and then grabbed the local leader of the Bahujan Samaj Party, Kamruzzama Fauji.

Singh sustained burns on 95% of his body which doctors say are likely to be fatal, while Fauji was in critical condition with 75% burns, police said.

"This man suddenly came on the stage, poured petrol on himself and set himself on fire before tightly hugging one of the political guests," local photographer Pankaj Kumar Gupta told AFP.

"People were just too shocked to know what was happening," said Gupta, whose photos show the men engulfed in flames with spectators fleeing the scene.

Two other local politicians taking part in the show, Ram Kumar Singh and Chowdhary Hriday Ram Verma, sustained minor burns while trying to save the pair.

"The injured were first admitted to the district hospital here [in Sultanpur] and were then referred to Lucknow," a police statement said.

The motive for the incident was unknown.


DN Moghe, deputy director general for Doordarshan's state headquarter in Lucknow described it as a "shocking" incident.

"This is a sad and shocking event during our roadshow debate whose programme format is similar to other news channels during this election season," Moghe said.

"The reason why the man set himself on fire is being investigated by the authorities," he added.

India's numerous television channels are holding nightly debate shows during the parliamentary elections. The shows are often staged in villages and towns with politicians taking questions in front of local voters.

The election, the world's biggest democratic vote, runs until 12 May, with results expected on 16 May. The Hindu nationalist opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) expected to come to power after 10 years of rule by the leftist Congress party.

Photographer Gupta said the show on Monday was called Janmanch 2014 (People's Forum 2014) and featured five local politicians. It was coming to an end when the man suddenly appeared.

"Within minutes, the Doordarshan team closed its cameras and packed all their equipment" and fled the scene, Gupta said.

Read more on:    india  |  india elections 2014

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

The Leo moon adds an element of drama and entertainment. A significant person that you may consult or confide in may play an...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.