Chandigarh, Jan 14 (IANS) An unemployed youth Wednesday set himself afire at the rally venue of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal in Punjab’s Muktsar district.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was present at the rally.
The youth – identified as Hitesh Kumar of Ferozepur district – attempted to immolate himself in the presence of thousands of people who had come for the rally on the occasion of the religious Maghi Mela in Muktsar district, about 250 km from here.
Police officials present at the venue and some other people immediately tried to put out the fire.
The youth was rushed to a hospital with burn injuries.
Sources said the youth was an unemployed lineman and was protesting with others seeking a job.
In recent months, over 4,000 unemployed linemen have been protesting in various places, especially at Akali Dal and Badal’s rallies. They have been demanding jobs from the government.
On earlier occasions, the protesting linemen have climbed up community water tanks and have tried to gate-crash rallies. They have been cane-charged and even arrested for such acts.