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Feb 21, 2010 at 10:17am IST

Telangana protestor succumbs to 80 pc burns

Hyderabad: A 19-year-old student, who set himself on fire on Saturday during protests over the Telangana issue, succumbed to his burns at a hospital early Sunday.

A police officer said Siripur Yadaiah, who sustained 80 percent burns, died at Apollo DRDO Hospital.

ALSO SEE Telangana row keeps Hyderabad on the edge

Yadaiah, a class 12 student of New Nobel Junior College in the city, set himself ablaze at about 1400 hours (IST) on Saturday at the main gate of Osmania University when the police stopped hundreds of students from marching towards the assembly to lay siege.

BURNING PROTEST: Police try to douse fire as S Yadaiah set himself alight during a protest for separate Telangana.

A resident of neighbouring Ranga Reddy district, Yadaiah poured kerosene and set himself on fire, shouting the slogan 'Jai Telangana'. The youth, who was immediately engulfed in flames, ran towards policemen standing at a barricade as hundreds watched in shock.

Eye witnesses said he fell down after running for about 50 metres and the policemen tried to put out the flames. He was taken to the hospital, where he succumbed after battling for his life for nearly 12 hours.

The police shifted Yadaiah's body to his native Nagaram village after autopsy and handed it over to relatives.

A suicide note recovered from his bag revealed that he had come prepared to take the extreme step at the university, the nerve centre of Telangana movement where another student committed suicide Jan 19.

In the suicide note written in Telugu, Yadaiah said he was an orphan and had lost his parents in childhood.

"I was hopeful of getting a job in separate Telangana state but it appears that the separate state will not be formed. I am laying down my life for the cause of Telangana and many more will do so till the goal is achieved," the note said.

Leaders of students' Joint Action Committee (JAC) and pro-Telangana parties reached the village to attend the last rites of Yadaiah.

Meanwhile, the university campus remained tense after students-police clashes in and around the campus Saturday evening. The students staged angry demonstrations after Yadaiah's self-immolation. They pelted stones on policemen, who retaliated with baton-charge.

Police Saturday foiled the JAC's plan to lay siege to the assembly demanding resignation of all elected representatives from Telangana to protest terms of Srikrishna panel formed by the central government to look into the Telangana issue.

Pro-Telangana parties have rejected the terms of reference saying they were not favourable to formation of Telangana state, which was promised by the central government through a statement Dec 9 last year.

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