Dorjee Tsering, a 16-year-old resident of Manali, allegedly set himself on fire Monday, minutes after telling his mother that he wanted to “do something for his country”, Tibet.
The incident took place while Tsering and his family were visiting his uncle in Dehradun. On Monday morning, outside his uncle’s residence, Tsering raised slogans demanding freedom for Tibet, before allegedly pouring petrol on himself and setting himself on fire.
Tsering’s mother Nyima Yangzom, who tried to help her son and put off the fire, also suffered minor burn injuries.
Tsering was rushed to the nearby hospital and later referred to Safdarjung Hospital in Delhi.
According to his family members, it took the ambulance six hours to reach Delhi.
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“Doctors said he has suffered 95 per cent burns. Apart from his face, he has burn injuries all over the body,” said his mother Yangzom, 59, as she sat outside the burns ward of Safdarjung Hospital, her hands wrapped in bandage.
Yangzom said that since August last year, her son had repeatedly talked about “doing something” for their homeland.
“Once, he called me from his hostel and said he would set himself on fire. I rebuked him and said if he wanted to do something for his country, he should do so through his studies. I warned him that if he tried to do anything stupid, even I would set myself on fire,” she said.
A few days ago, her son told her that he would “disappear after February”, said Yangzom. “I had no idea he would do something like this,” she said.
In the minutes after the incident, while frantically trying to save her son, Yangzom had pushed him under a water tap. “At least his face was not burnt,” she said.
At Safdarjung Hospital, Tsering reportedly told one of his family members, “I wanted to do something for my country and I figured that I can’t do much through studies”.