Man sets himself on fire, embraces Indian politician during TV debate (WARNING: Graphic photos)

Published: April 30, 2014

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Indian bystanders attempt to douse the blaze as Bahujan Samaj Party, (BSP)Kamruzzama Fauji and a man named by police as Durgesh Kumar Singh are engulfed in flames during an election television debate in a local park in Sultanpur, a town about 160 kilometres (100 miles) from the city of Lucknow. STR/AFP/Getty Images

VANCOUVER DESI

A political debate in India ended in horror on Monday when a man in the crowd set himself ablaze and embraced one of the politicians, leaving both men in hospital fighting for their lives, according to Britain’s Daily Mail.

The debate, which was being pre-recorded near Lucknow for India’s state television channel Doordarshan, quickly turned to chaos as Durgesh Kumar Singh emerged from the crowd of 150 people, doused himself in gasoline and grabbed local leader of the Bahujan Samaj Party, Kamruzzama Fauji, the Daily Mail reported.

“This man suddenly came on the stage, poured petrol on himself and set himself on fire before tightly hugging one of the political guests,” local photographer Pankaj Kumar Gupta told AFP. “People were just too shocked to know what was happening.”

Singh suffered burns to 95 per cent of his body and doctors say he’s likely to die from his injuries, the Daily Mail reported. And Fauji, who is in hospital in critical condition, suffered burns to 75 per cent of his body.

According to the Daily Mail, two other politicians, Ram Kumar Singh and Chowdhary Hriday Ram Verma, also sustained minor burns as they tried to save the two men set ablaze.

According to Gupta, whose photos show the men engulfed in flames as spectators flee the scene, the election show called Janmanch 2014 featured five local politicians.

“Within minutes, the Doordarshan team closed its cameras and packed all their equipment and fled the scene,” Gupta said.

According to the Daily Mail, Indian police are investigating the motive for the incident.

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