A 35-year-old jobless woman from Gurdaspur set herself ablaze near Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal’s official residence in Chandigarh on Friday.
The woman, identified as Gurpreet Kaur, was rushed to the Government Multi-Specialty Hospital (GMSH), Sector 16 by the police. Doctors said she had suffered 35% burn injuries on her legs and right arm.
Sources said the victim, a Class XII pass out with a computer course certificate, had come to Chandigarh looking for a job. It is alleged that the victim had been trying to meet the Chief Minister for the past some days, but was repeatedly turned away by the security staff.
On Friday morning, the woman set herself ablaze at the ground across the road in front of Badal's residence.
The security staff at the main gate of the CM’s residence immediately alerted the police control room. The security outside the CM residence has been beefed-up following the incident.
UT, SSP Sukhchain Singh Gill said the statements of the victim were yet to be recorded as she is under treatment. “We are investigating the matter”, the SSP said.
In Amritsar, the Chief Minister described the incident as unfortunate. "It is sad and unfortunate. The doors of my residence were open for everyone. People can come and meet me for their work or redressing their grievances,” said Badal.
The CM, however, said he too had certain limitations and possessed no magic wand to fulfil everybody’s wishes instantly. “Being CM, I try to redress people’s grievances. But before taking such extreme steps, people must realise that we, including me, are bound by a system. We can’t produce jobs for everybody instantly”, he said. Leader of Opposition Sunil Jakhar, who reached the hospital to meet the victim, said it is a black day for Punjab. The SAD government has failed to fulfil its tall promises of providing employment to youths, he said. Demanding resignations of CM Badal and Deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal, Jakhar said a criminal case should be registered against the state government for abetment to suicide. “It was due to the state government’s callous attitude that the woman was forced to set herself ablaze in front of CM’s residence”, said Jakhar.