A Tibetan is engulfed in flames after self-immolating at a protest outside the Indian parliament.
A Tibetan exile set himself on fire at a demonstration in the Indian capital prior to a visit by the Chinese president, Hu Jintao – the latest in a string of such protests against Beijing's rule of the Himalayan region.
The protester was engulfed in flames as he ran near speakers at a rally near the Indian parliament in New Delhi on Monday. Fellow activists tried to put out the flames with Tibetan flags they were carrying, while others poured water on him.
The protester, identified as Jampa Yeshi, was being treated for severe burns at a hospital in New Delhi, a Tibetan organiser said.
More than 600 protesters carrying banners marched across New Delhi to a central plaza to protest against the visit. Some carried posters saying "Tibet is burning" and "Tibet is not part of China".
At the protest venue, a big poster depicting Hu's face with a bloody palm print on it read: "Hu Jin Tao is not welcome."
As speakers addressed the crowd, Yeshi set himself on fire. He ran nearly 50 metres before he collapsed. Protesters initially prevented police from taking him to hospital, but officers eventually forcibly took him away.
"This is what China faces unless they give freedom to Tibet," Tenzin Dorjee, a young onlooker, said.
Yeshi sustained burns to 85% of his body and his condition was critical, a senior police officer said. The 26-year-old protester escaped Tibet five years ago and had been living in a Tibetan neighbourhood in Delhi, the officer added.
At least 30 people in Tibetan areas of China have set themselves on fire over the past year to protest against Beijing's rule over Tibet. Monday's was the second self-immolation in India in recent months. Last year, a young Tibetan exile set himself on fire outside the Chinese embassy, suffering minor burns.
Hu is expected to arrive in India for a summit meeting later this week.
He will be attending a meeting of the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, who form a grouping known as Brics, on 28-29 March.
Police in New Delhi are bracing themselves for renewed protests by Tibetan exiles who live in India during the meeting.
Security around the hotel where the talks are to take place has been tightened, and roads leading to the building will be closed to the public a day ahead of the meeting.
Tibetan sets himself on fire outside Indian parliament | World news | The Guardian