In a desperate effort to save a piece of ‘graveyard’ land, a man on Thursday tried to immolate himself, his wife and six children in Moosa Nagar area of Kanpur Dehat, police said.
The man, identified as Gulfam (35), said he was forced to take the extreme step after police and the district administration allegedly failed to save the land, which he claimed belonged to a graveyard.
Superintendent of Police (Kanpur Dehat) Keshav Kumar Choudhary said Gulfam is the caretaker of the graveyard and had claimed that construction work was going on at the place.
The officer said instructions have been issued to probe the charges and also get the district administration's help in finding out if the construction work is being done on the graveyard land.
Talking about the immolation incident, the SP said Gulfam accompanied by his family members, including his wife Ajmerun (31), daughters Mehjabin (13), Masiha (8), Moeena (7), Chand Tara (5), Sitara (2) and son Mohammad Atif (10) reached the construction site at around 9 am. Gulfam then poured kerosene and set all of them afire, he said.
On hearing shrieks of the family, passers-by rushed to the spot and tried to douse the flames.
The Moosa Nagar police later reached the incident site and the policemen immediately doused the fire, the SP said, adding that head constable Rajendra Pandey sustained burn injuries in the incident.
The victims, who sustained 10 to 12 per cent burn injuries, were taken to a community health centre from where they were shifted to district hospital.
Later, the family was referred to Lala Lajpat Rai hospital in Kanpur where their condition is said to be stable, Additional SP Ghanshyam said.