Man Sets Himself On Fire Before Hugging A Politician Live On TV

An Indian national doused himself in petrol before hugging a politician in an Indian television debate.

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An Indian National Set Himself On Fire Before Hugging A Politician On Live Television

Bystanders trying to douse the flames

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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.

"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 said.

Throughout The Election Period, Nightly Debate Shows Are Being Held By India's National Television Channels

Debates are usually held at small villages as locals get to pose questions to the politicians

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

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.

Both Men Suffered Severe Burns And Are In Critical Condition

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

Mr Singh sustained burns on 95 per cent of his body which are likely to be fatal, while Mr Fauji was in a critical state with 75 per cent burns, police said.

Two Other Local Politicians Also Suffered Minor Burns As They Tried To Rescue Both Of Them

The politicians who were trying to help also suffered minor burns

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

“The injured were first admitted to the district hospital here (in Sultanpur) and were then referred to Lucknow,” said a statement from the police.

The Motive For This Attack Is Still Unknown

D N 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 road show debate whose program format is similar to other news channels during this election season," he said. "The reason why the man set himself on fire is being investigated by the authorities."

The motive for the incident is unknown.

This Election Is Said To Be The World's Biggest Democratic Vote

The election is said to be the world's biggest democratic vote

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

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