Taxi driver attempts immolation in UP; alleges police excesses

Lakhimpur Kheri (UP), Mar 18 (IANS): A 26-year-old private taxi driver allegedly attempted suicide by setting himself on fire inside the Gaurifanta police station campus in Lakhimpur Kheri over "harassment" by the police and four other men.

The victim, according to police, alleged that the four men and the police used to extort money from taxi drivers and when he failed to pay them, they started harassing him.

He claimed to have attempted suicide following the alleged harassment.

The victim suffered over 80 per cent burn injuries and doctors at the hospital where he was being treated, stated his condition to be "critical".

Superintendent of police, Lakhimpur Kheri, Sanjiv Suman has suspended the station house officer of Gaurifanta police station, Ashvani Vishkarma, over the charges.

Directions have been issued to the additional superintendent of police to conduct an inquiry into the matter and submit a report in two days, the SP said.

The statement of the victim has been recorded before a magistrate.

A native of Palia, Shivam Gupta used to ply Tata Magic from the Bangawa area to the Gaurifanta locality.

Gupta attempted suicide by setting himself on fire after pouring petrol at the Gaurifanta police station gate, late on Wednesday night.

After setting himself on fire, Gupta ran inside the police station campus, said the police. The police personnel doused the fire and rushed him to a hospital.

The victim alleged that four residents, with the help of the police, were harassing him and not allowing him to run the taxi.

The victim's uncle Pankaj Gupta told reporters that Shivam took the step after the police had seized his vehicle and thrashed him. He also alleged that the police had threatened Shivam Gupta that his nephew would be framed in a false case.



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Title: Taxi driver attempts immolation in UP; alleges police excesses

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