A nephew of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam founder Vaiko tried to kill himself by setting himself on fire in Tamil Nadu’s Virudhunagar on Friday, demanding that the Centre forms the Cauvery Management Board to decide how the river water is shared with Karnataka, The Times of India reported.
Tamil Nadu has been upset about the delay in setting up the board, leading to protests across the state over the past few weeks and a massive demonstration against Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Chennai on Thursday.
Vaiko said his nephew Saravana Suresh was disturbed over the delay in setting up of the board, and on Friday morning told his family that he was stepping out for a walk.
Vaiko said Suresh then poured kerosene on himself at a nearby playground and set himself on fire. According to the police, Suresh shouted slogans demanding the constitution of the board before he set himself ablaze, The Times of India reported. Suresh suffered serious burn injuries, and is being treated at a private hospital in Madurai.
After the incident, Vaiko – who led the demonstrations on Thursday – issued a statement asking his supporters and other protestors not to harm themselves, IANS reported. “I have lost hope of his [Suresh] survival. All in my family are suffering...” Vaiko said.
Political parties and several others across Tamil Nadu have been demanding that the board be set up after the Supreme Court, in its order on February 16, set a March 29 deadline for the Centre to do so. The Centre had asked for an extension as the Assembly elections are due in Karnataka on May 12, but the court declined the plea and directed that the Centre submit a draft scheme by May 3.