A political leader from India’s Uttar Pradesh state has died after being horrifically burned by a man who set himself on fire and then hugged the politician on live television.
Kamruzzama Fauji, a leader of the Bahujan Samaj Party, died late Friday after being hospitalized since Monday, according to a report from Agence France-Presse.
He had been severely injured in a bizarre incident broadcast live a national television channel.
Fauji, who was participating in an election event on Monday, was grabbed after a spectator doused himself with gasoline, set himself on fire and threw his arms around Fauji.
The crowd of about 150 people tried to throw water on the blazing bodies, but the flames were intense. The attacker was identified as Durgesh Kumar Singh. Nearly his entire body was burned and he died shortly after the ghastly event, AFP said.
Fauji’s brother called the attack “politically motivated” and demanded a full investigation.
The debate was part of the country’s staggered, nine-phase parliamentary election which ends May 16.
Two local politicians participating in the debate outside A the state capital of Lucknow received minor burns trying to put out the flames.
“This man suddenly came on the stage, poured petrol on himself and set himself on fire before tightly hugging one of the political guests,” photographer Pankaj Kumar Gupta told AFP after the incident.