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Bilaspur: Youth Congress leader immolates self, alleges harassment by SDM

Bilaspur: A Youth Congress leader sustained serious burn injuries after he allegedly set himself on fire in front of Sub-Divisional Magistrate’s (SDM) office in the district, accusing the officer of harassment.

Rajendra Tiwari (24), a former Youth Congress president of Bilha region, sustained over 80% in the incident that took place on Monday, Bilaspur SP Abhishek Pathak said, adding that he has been referred to Raipur for further treatment.

A case pertaining to prohibitory orders under CrPC sections 107 and 16 was registered against Tiwari a few days back. Tiwari, along with his lawyer, reached the office of Bilha SDM Arjun Singh Sisodia for bail on Monday afternoon, the SP said.

When the SDM refused to grant him bail, Tiwari came out of the office accusing the officer of mentally harassing him and demanding bribe through clerk for granting bail, he said. He then poured petrol on his body and set himself on fire in front of the SDM’s office, Pathak said. Soon after the incident, he was admitted to a local hospital from where he was referred to Raipur keeping in view his critical condition, the SP said.

Meanwhile, the SDM has been transferred to the Collectorate office and a magisterial inquiry has been ordered into the entire episode.

“SDM Sisodia has been removed from Bilha and attached to the office of Collectorate,” Bilaspur Collector Anbalgan P said.

A magisterial probe will be conducted into the incident by Additional Collector Nirmal Tigga, who will submit a report in this connection as early as possible, the Collector said. The incident created tension in Bilha area and some people even pelted stones at SDM’s office and Bilha police station after the incident.

Congress MLA from Bilha constituency Siyaram Kaushik demanded stern action against the SDM, alleging that he was intentionally mistreating Tiwari.