Graphic Content: A family of five set themselves alight in a desperate final protest against the demolition of their home. Bharat Mansingh, 40, died in hospital after self-immolating in the centre of a local authority compound in the city of Rajkot in north west India today. Three of his females relatives, Rekha, Asha, Vasumati and one male relative Girish Mansingh have all been taken to hospital with severe burns. Two are said to be in a critical condition.
It is believed the horrendous act stems from a long-running dispute between families living on a common plot in the Chotu Nagar areas of the city. he Mansingh family, who are understood to be Nepalese immigrants, believed the Rajkot Municipal Corporation was going to demolish their home and came to discuss the situation with the civic body today. When they failed to get satisfactory answers they doused themselves in kerosene and set themselves alight as helpless passers-by looked on.
Emergency services managed to douse the flames and all five were taken to Rajkot Civil Hospital where 40-year-old Bharat Mansingh later died. Police Commissioner H P Singh told Press Trust India that the family were in a dispute with the Chotu Nagar Cooperative Housing Society, who they believed was planning to evict them. ‘Bharat Mansingh died while undergoing treatment while the other four have sustained severe burns,’ Commissioner Singh said.
The family, who had been living in their house for several years, believed that it has been condemned as an unauthorised structure. The co-operative later denied they planned to evict the family and said they had no plans to demolish the house. The news has quickly become a political issue in India with the opposition party accusing the Rajkot Municipal Corporation of having harassed the family. There were calls for a bandh, or general strike, to protest their treatment across Rajkot on Thursday.