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Ganderbal man attempts self-immolation protesting anti-encroachment drive

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Srinagar: A 27-year-old man suffered severe burn injuries as he set himself on fire on Tuesday during an anti-encroachment drive in Ganderbal district of central Kashmir, officials said.

Following many complaints, the Irrigation and Flood Control department had launched a demolition drive against illegal constructions along the water-bodies, the officials said.

Aamir Hamid Shah set himself alight when a demolition crew comprising police and personnel from the Irrigation and Flood Control department arrived to tear down his newly-constructed complex in Harran area of Kangan.

A video of the incident, which has since gone viral on social media, shows the man in flames running on the roof of the complex.

Several users accused the police of doing nothing to save the man. However, a police spokesman said the youth was rescued by SHO Ganderbal and locals who had gathered at the spot.

“The person was however, rescued by SHO Ganderbal and locals on spot. He received burn injuries before flames were doused off and was shifted to hospital,” police spokesman said in a statement.

He said a deep trench was dug by the owners of the structure to prevent any ingress into the premises which prevented a prompt rescue.

All help and support in the hospitalisation has been rendered, said the spokesman, adding that they have assured family members of best medical treatment. “One police team is already there in hospital and facilitating his treatment,” the statement read.

“Moreover, police requests the media fraternity and general public not to circulate the video of unfortunate incident which is too graphic for the common people,” the spokesman said.

He said the demolition drive was being undertaken by Irrigation and Flood Control Department over the banks of Nalla Sindh when the incident took place.

“Amir Hamid Shah, son of Nazir Ahmad Shah, suddenly appeared from behind the illegal structure and self-immolated on its roof in protest against demolition of illegal structure raised on the banks of the water-body,” said the spokesman.

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