The Tibetan man, who set himself ablaze at a demonstration in protest against the upcoming visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao, died in a hospital in New Delhi on Wednesday. The protester, a Tibetan exile identified as Jamphel Yeshi died of third-degree burns at the Ram Manohar Lohia hospital, sources from the hospital confirmed.
Yeshi, 26, set himself on fire as the speakers at the protest rally started their address. Engulfed in flames he ran for 50 meters before collapsing. Fellow activists tried to put out the flames with water and the Tibetan flags that they were carrying.
He died just hours before Chinese President Hu Jintao's expected arrival in India to participate in the fourth BRICS summit. Brazil, Russia and South Africa will also participate in the summit along with India and China.
The incident is the latest in a series of violent protests by Tibetans against the Chinese rule in their region. Yeshi had escaped from Tibet five years ago and was living in a Tibetan settlement in Delhi ever since.
This is the second attempt at self-immolation by a Tibetan in India. Last year, another Tibetan had tried to immolate himself in front of the Chinese embassy. He got away with minor burns. More than 25 people have set themselves on fire in various Tibetan regions of China, protesting against Chinese rule in Tibet.
However, China has blamed the Dalai Lama for instigating Tibetans to self-immolate.
India, meanwhile, has assured security to Hu and a hassle-free BRICS summit. It has detained several Tibetan protestors as precautionary measure ahead of Hu's visit.