Student sets himself ablaze

NEW DELHI: An Indian student has died after he set himself on fire in an apparent show of support for the creation of a new state in southern India, a report said today.

The 19-year-old was rushed to hospital yesterday with 70 percent burns to his body after setting himself ablaze near Osmania University in Hyderabad, capital of Andhra Pradesh state, the Press Trust of India news agency said. He died overnight of his injuries.

Hyderabad, home to international IT giants such as Google and Microsoft, has been at the centre of protests since the national government announced in December that Andhra Pradesh would be carved into two. Supporters of the proposed new state of Telangana accuse the national government of moving too slowly in creating it. Including the latest case, at least three students have died by setting themselves on fire over the issue since the start of November. In 1990, Delhi University student Rajeev Goswami set himself on fire during a campaign for affirmative action in Indian colleges. Goswami’s act led to a spate of similar incidents among students across the country.