July 13, 2013
A family of five set themselves on fire in an act of desperation against a threat to demolish their home.
Four of the Nepalese victims – a mother, her two sons and their wives – died after the shocking protest inside the grounds of government offices in Rajkot, in Gujarat, western India.
Hasumati Dalvani, 62, her sons Bharat Mansingh, 40, and Girish Mansingh, 38, and their wives Asha, 35, and Rekha, 33, had poured kerosene over their bodies before setting themselves ablaze.
The family has been battling the government’s attempt to demolish their house – their shelter for 35 years – after residents complained its construction was unsafe.
Witnesses tried to extinguish the fires with pieces of curtain material, but were too late.
Both sons and their wives died of their injuries at Rajkot Civil Hospital.
Dr Sanjay Shah said: ‘They had sustained 90 to 95 per cent burns to their bodies. They were in a critical condition. We tried to save them but in the end we couldn’t do enough. The mother is still with us but in a very critical condition.’