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Odisha: Man self-immolates, succumbs to burn injuries

Kendrapara: A 45-year-old man, who had attempted self-immolation in front of the district collectorate during Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s visit to Kendrapara, has succumbed to the burn injuries, triggering protests.

Niranjan Singh, a native of Jagulaipada village near here, had knocked on the doors of the Collector’s weekly grievance cell a day before the self-immolation attempt on November 8.

He died yesterday, officials said.

For the last one year, Singh had been seeking the administration’s intervention into his grievances, but it was not forthcoming. He had even warned the district administration that he would end his life if his grievances were not looked into.

Singh, a member of a below poverty line (BPL) family, died of burn injuries at SCB Medical College and Hospital. The administration was bearing the cost of his treatment.

The administration has released Rs 10,000 ex-gratia from the District Red Cross Society funds in favour of the bereaved family members, Kendrapara Additional District Magistrate Dhananjay Swain said.

He said, “Singh had spoken of three specific grievances before the grievance cell on November 7. However, it is unfortunate that he attempted self-immolation the very next day. We were provided very little time to look into his grievances.”

Swain said Singh’s principal demand was to absorb him as a health worker on compassionate grounds since his mother was doing the same job.

However, it was not “legally tenable”, he said, adding that the administration had ordered an inquiry into the circumstances which led Singh to end his life.

The victim’s spouse, Ranjit Singh, alleged that her husband was forced to take the drastic strep due to the “insensitivity” of the administration.

PTI