Berhampur (Odisha): A woman leader of the ruling BJD in Odisha was seriously injured after she performed self-immolation outside the Berhampur SP's office in Ganjam district on Wednesday protesting the arrest of her son, police said.
Forty one-year-old Meenakhi Mishra, an executive body member of BJD's women wing, was admitted to a state-run hospital in the town with 50 per cent burn injuries and then referred to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack, a police officer said.
Mishra is stated to have taken the step alleging that police had arrested her son after implicating him in a "false case", he said. Her son was arrested on January 28 in an assault case, the officer said.
"The woman went to the office of SP (Berhampur) Pinak Mishra to lodge her grievance and seek her son's release but could not meet the officer as he was away. Instead, she met the additional SP and expressed her resentment. The ASP assured her that the matter would be looked into," he said.
However, after coming out of the office building and moving a little away from it, she poured kerosene on her and set her on fire, sustaining around 50 per cent burn injuries, the officer said.
"Our staff rescued her and took her to MKCG Medical College and Hospital here. Since her condition was serious, she was referred to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack," Berhampur SP Pinak Mishra said.
The woman was probably carrying a bottle of kerosene in her bag, he said. Several BJD leaders, including former Berhampur MLA Ramesh Chandra Chyau Patnaik and ex-chairperson of Berhampur Development Authority Subash Moharana visited the hospital to meet the woman.
Mishra had unsuccessfully contested the previous Berhampur Municipal Corporation election from ward number 39.
The SP said at least five persons, including a teenager, had been arrested for allegedly attacking Mishra and her son with sharp weapons at Panda Colony in Baidynathpur police station area on January 28.
However, Mishra's son was also arrested for allegedly attacking the group, he said. The BJD leader, however, alleged that her son was
implicated in a false case and demanded his release.