Indian man in critical condition after setting himself on fire over bribe demand

GERMAN PRESS AGENCY - DPA
NEW DELHI
Published 04.09.2017 13:15

A young Indian man attempted to immolate himself outside a lawmaker's office in southern India after officials demanded a 20,000-rupee (312-dollar) bribe, officials said on Monday.

The victim, identified as M Srinivas, 25, a farmer in the Karimnagar district of Telangana state, had gone to claim land being distributed by the government to Dalit, or low-caste, underprivileged farmers.

But the officer there allegedly demanded the bribe to facilitate the land transfer.

Srinivas and a group of villagers approached the office of the local legislator on Sunday to complain, area police chief K Karunakar Rao said.

"They waited for hours but were told the politician could not meet him. He got angry, doused himself with kerosene and set himself on fire. He is in a critical condition with 60 per cent burns," he said.

"A friend of his, Parshuramulu, who tried to save him, also suffered burn injuries. He is admitted in hospital but is stable," Rao said.

The government in Telangana, India's youngest state, had announced the scheme for farmers soon after its creation in June 2014. But only 5,000 of intended 330,000 beneficiary families had been allotted land so far, media reports said.

Government corruption is rampant in India. India has been named the most corrupt country in the Asia-Pacific region, a Forbes report said, while quoting a study by Transparency International. Almost seven out of 10 people had to pay a bribe to access public services.

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