Karimnagar, Telangana: On Sunday, two young men in Telangana set themselves ablaze outside the office of a lawmaker of the state's ruling party. Before their shocking act came a series of events that began with the demand for a 20,000 rupee bribe.
- Two farmers went to village revenue officer to claim land under a scheme
- After bribe demand, they tried to complain to local lawmaker
- They were told the lawmaker wouldn't meet them
M Srinivas, 25, and Y Parushuramulu, 23, are both farmers in Karimnagar, around 160 km from Hyderabad. They are both at a government hospital with severe burns after trying to burn themselves outside the office of Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) legislator Rasamayi Balakishan.
Srinivas and Parasuram had gone to their village revenue office to claim land under a scheme for Dalits or underprivileged farmers. But the officer there allegedly demanded Rs 20,000 to facilitate what was legitimately theirs.
Yesterday, they went with a group of villagers to complain about the bribe demand to their local lawmaker. They waited for more than five hours before they were told that the politician cannot meet them.
Angry and frustrated, Srinivas and Parushuramulu poured kerosene over themselves and lit a match.
"We waited from 10 am to 3:30 pm. Then we were asked to leave without a meeting," said a villager who was with them.
State Finance Minister Etela Rajender said there would be an investigation and disciplinary action would be taken against the village revenue officer if it was proved that he had demanded bribe.
Last week, a TRS worker allegedly set himself on fire at a party meeting where a state minister, P Mahender Reddy, was present. The worker allegedly delivered a speech, climbed down from the dais and suddenly set himself on fire.