A Congress councillor attempted to set himself on fire at the general board meeting of the Bhuj Municipal Corporation (BMC) early on Monday. He was prevented by policemen present on the spot. Mahendra Thakkar (50),a councillor from Ward no.11 in Bhuj,doused himself with petrol and tried to set himself ablaze to protest the alleged delay in a road project in his area. However,before he could torch himself,policemen overpowered him and later put him under detention for trying to disturb public peace.
During his turn to speak at the meeting,Thakkar sought to know why the work on a road project,which was sanctioned months ago,was not started. He suddenly pulled out a bottle of petrol,emptied it on himself and tried to set himself on fire, Bhuj police inspector H B Jamod told The Indian Express over phone.
Jadav said the incident was anticipated as Thakkar had threatened to commit suicide in the meeting in his letter to the BMC president Narendra Thakkar on April 5. We had detained him on April 6 after learning about his threat and produced him before a magistrate. But he was released on bond, Jadav further said.
The councillor was taken to Bhuj police station and was produced in a local court after police changed his petrol-drenched clothes. The magistrate ordered his release after Thakkar signed a personal security bond. The BMC is ruled by the BJP.
However,the BMC president Narendra Thakkar alleged the Congress councillors suicide bid was a publicity stunt. He has gone on fast over similar issues in the past. The Rs 1 crore road project is waiting for the approval of the state government, the president said.