A taxi driver tries to set himself on fire in the UP; denounce the excesses of the police

Lakhimpur Kheri (UP), March 18 (IANS): A 26-year-old private taxi driver allegedly attempted to commit suicide by setting himself on fire inside the Gaurifanta police station campus in Lakhimpur Kheri for “harassment” by 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 began to harass him.

He claimed to have attempted suicide as a result of the alleged harassment.

The victim suffered more than 80% burns and doctors at the hospital where he was being treated said his condition was “critical”.

Police Superintendent, Lakhimpur Kheri, Sanjiv Suman has suspended Gaurifanta Police Station Officer, Ashvani Vishkarma, for the charges.

Instructions have been given to the additional superintendent of police to investigate the matter and submit a report within two days, the SP said.

The victim’s statement was recorded before a magistrate.

Originally from Palia, Shivam Gupta used Tata Magic from Bangawa region to Gaurifanta locality.

Gupta attempted suicide by setting himself on fire after pouring gasoline at the gate of Gaurifanta police station late Wednesday evening.

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

The victim alleged that four residents, with the help of the police, harassed him and did not allow him to drive the taxi.

The victim’s uncle, Pankaj Gupta, told reporters that Shivam took the plunge after police seized his vehicle and beat him. He also alleged that the police threatened Shivam Gupta that his nephew would be framed in a bogus case.

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