Tibetan student dies after setting himself alight in India’s Varanasi
New Delhi, India - A Tibetan student who self-immolated in an act of protest against Chinese rule in the Himalayan region has died in an Indian hospital, a doctor said on Sunday.
Tenzin Choeying (19) succumbed to critical burn injuries in New Delhi a week after shouting ‘Victory to Tibet’ and setting fire to himself at a university campus in Varanasi, in India’s northern Uttar Pradesh state.
“He died on Saturday days after he was shifted from a Varanasi hospital for specialised treatment,” Anil Rai, medical superintendent at Safdarjung hospital, said. His body will be handed over to the authorities after a postmortem, Rai added.
Self-immolation has regularly been used as a protest against China’s actions in Tibet.
The International Campaign for Tibet - which claims 150 Tibetans have self-immolated since 2009 - said Choeying shouted ‘Victory to Tibet’ before setting himself on fire.
Varanasi police, quoting eyewitnesses, said the 19 year old yelled ‘freedom’ before dousing himself with kerosene and setting himself ablaze on July 14. They were investigating the motive behind the suicide, including recent exam failures as being a possible cause for his actions. China says its troops ‘liberated’ Tibet in 1951, but Tibetans accuse the government of religious repression and eroding their culture.