UK & World News

  • 30 April 2014, 12:42

India: Burning Man Hugs Politician On TV Show

An Indian politician has suffered horrific burns after he was grabbed by a man who set himself on fire during a TV election debate.

Kamruzzama Fauji was taking part in the show in Sultanpur, in Uttar Pradesh state, when an audience member doused himself in petrol.

Crowds of people ran from the set as the man, named by police as Durgesh Kumar Singh, set himself alight before embracing Mr Fauji.

Local photographer Pankaj Kumar Gupta, whose pictures show the two men engulfed in flames, said the debate was coming to an end when the man suddenly appeared.

"People were just too shocked to know what was happening," he added.

Mr Singh, whose motive is unknown, suffered burns to 95% of his body and is unlikely to survive, according to doctors.

Mr Fauji, the local leader of the Bahujan Samaj Party, sustained 75% burns and is in a critical condition in hospital.

Two other politicians were treated for minor injuries they suffered while trying to save the pair.

The debate was being recorded for India's state-owned Doordarshan channel.

A spokesman for the station, which is understood to have stopped filming and packed up its equipment within minutes, described the incident as "sad and shocking".

He said the debate was part of a "roadshow" held by the station, with politicians taking questions from local voters.

Parliamentary elections are being held across India until May 12, with results expected four days later.

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