Indian man dies after self-immolation protest over land rights

Indian police carry Pranab Boro, an activist of Krisak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) who self-immolated in a protest demanding land rights for local people in various regions of eastern Assam state, from the front of the Assam Secretariat to hospital i
Indian police carry Pranab Boro, an activist of Krisak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) who self-immolated in a protest demanding land rights for local people in various regions of eastern Assam state, from the front of the Assam Secretariat to hospital in Guwahati on Monday, Feb 24, 2014. An Indian man died on Monday after setting himself on fire over the denial of land rights by the north-east Assam state government, officials said. -- PHOTO: AFP

GUWAHATI, India (AFP) - An Indian man died on Monday after setting himself on fire over the denial of land rights by the north-east Assam state government, officials said.

Mr Pranab Boro, a 45-year-old farmer activist, set himself ablaze after pouring kerosene oil over himself in Guwahati city, Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswas Sarma told AFP.

"He was admitted to the hospital with 100 per cent burn injuries and despite best efforts by doctors, he died," said Mr Sarma.

Policemen desperately tried to extinguish flames with water and blankets as a severely charred Boro writhed on the floor surrounded by news cameras.

Mr Boro, a member of activist group Krishak Mukti Sangram Samity, took the drastic step after the state government rejected land right demands for 85,000 families living in Assam.

"We are shocked at what had happened today, but we cannot grant land rights to people residing in forest and wetlands. We can always work out some alternative arrangements," Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told AFP.

The rejection triggered protests, as well as road and railway blockades in various parts of the state, reports said.

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