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Punjab: Self immolating man dies
January 26, 2006 00:09 IST
The man who set himself ablaze in public to protest the alleged failure of authorities to set up a market for displaced hawkers, died in hospital on Wednesday even as a magisterial inquiry began into the incident and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh assured stern action against those held responsible.
Gopal Kishan Kashyap, President of the local Rajiv Gandhi Parontha Rehri Association, died after suffering two heart attacks within minutes, according to doctors attending on him.
Agitated over authorities alleged failure to set up a market for displaced hawkers, Kashyap set himself on fire after dousing diesel near the main bus stand on Tuesday and was rushed to hospital with over 80 per cent burns.
The chief minister, who visited the man at Rajindera hospital Wednes morning, said his government would seek a legal opinion into the accusations levelled by Kashyap before he died.
Kashyap had alleged that the chief minister's media advisor B I S Chahal was damaging the image of the Congress and town Mayor Vishnu Sharma was creating hindrances in the construction of iron sheds for 'Rehriwalas' (pavement hawkers).
Taking suo motu note of the incident, Punjab State Human Rights Commission directed an Inspector-General of Police attached with the Comission to inquire into the incident.
The IGP had been asked to submit his report within a month, a PSHRC spokesman said in Patiala.
In a signed statement, Kashyap had threatened to commit suicide on January 24 in case iron sheds were not constructed for them for starting their business.
The police sub-inspector, Jaswant Singh, who was on the spot when the incident took place has been suspended.
Kashyap's relative and angry protestors gathered at the hospital earlier and raised slogans against the district administration.
Activists of the main opposition Shiromani Akali Dal have started a protest sit-in near the local bus stand.