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Chhattisgarh: Unemployed youth who set himself on fire complaining about food dies, BJP blames Congress govt’s misrule

On June 29, the day the youth had set himself ablaze, the state public relations department had claimed that he was mentally unstable for the past two years. They stated that he possessed land and also had a job card under the MNREGA. The deceased man's father had stated that he was under acute poverty and hi family was being fed with the help of neighbours.

The 27-year-old unemployed man in Chhattisgarh, who had attempted to self-immolate in front of the official residence of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on 29th June, succumbed to his injuries on the night of Tuesday. The youth had incurred 50 per cent burn injuries and was being treated in a private hospital in Raipur.

Chhattisgarh youth went to CM seeking help

Hardev Sinha, a native of Dhamtari district, fed up of his poverty and unemployment, had wanted to meet the CM to seek help, but the security personnel prevented him from entering without an appointment. Taking everyone by a surprise, he had set himself on fire. The father of the youth had said that he had been feeding his son’s wife and his children for a very long time. He added, “He didn’t have any food yesterday night, nor today morning.” He had left the house on Monday morning and the family had no information about him until noon.

After the news of his death came in, BJP national vice-president and three-term Chhattisgarh CM, Raman Singh, slammed the Bhupesh Baghel led Congress Government in the state.

Highlighting the helpless and desperation amongst the youths in the Congress-ruled state, the BJP leader Tweeted: ” कांग्रेस की कुनीति, कुशासन और कुप्रबंधन ने आज प्रदेश के एक युवक की हत्या कर दी। आत्मदाह करने वाले प्रदेश के युवक को @bhupeshbaghel सरकार ‘मानसिक’ बीमार कहकर जख्मों पर नमक छिड़कती रही।” roughly translated as, “the misrule, mismanagement and the poor policy of the Congress have murdered the youth of the state … Bhupesh Baghel government continued to sprinkle salt on the wounds by calling the youth mentally-ill.” He sought a reply from Congress senior leader Rahul Gandhi, asking who should be held accountable for Hardev Sinha’s death.

Congress government declared the youth “mentally unstable”

It is pertinent to note that after the incident, the Congress Government in Chhattisgarh was quick to declare the youth mentally unstable, a claim which his wife had vehemently refuted.

On June 29, the day the youth had set himself ablaze, the state public relations department had claimed that he was mentally unstable for the past two years. The department had said that the youth possessed two acres of land and a job card under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), 2005, scheme. They furthered that Hardev Sinha had worked for 11 days under the scheme and then left saying that he wanted to make a youtube video.

Hardev Sinha’s wife strongly opposed the Congress government’s claims. “We are suffering from an acute financial crisis due to which my husband was very worried. He is not mentally unstable,” she had told local media persons in Dhamtari on June 29. The youth, according to his father, was unemployed and living with his family without any food at home.

The state government has ordered a magisterial probe into the case.

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