The alleged self-immolation bid of a 39-year-old man, who was made to retire from the Border Security Force on medical grounds 14 years ago, was foiled near Rashtrapati Bhavan here on Friday afternoon.

The incident took place around 2-30 p.m. Ashok Kumar poured some inflammable oil on his body and attempted to set himself ablaze in the presence of his wife and children. However, Delhi Police personnel present at the spot overpowered him, prevented him from setting himself afire and took him away.

Ashok’s former employer, BSF, later responded saying that he had joined the force in 1994 but was medically boarded out six years later as he had a medical condition which had no scope of improvement and hence made him unsuitable for the job. A medical board had found that he had a mental ailment known as bipolar affective disorder.

Contrary to this, Ashok said that the action was at the behest of some of his erstwhile seniors. He said that in 1999, when he was posted along the Indo-Bangladesh border in Assam, he and his colleagues stopped a truck carrying cows meant to be sold across the border.

This, allegedly, did not “go down too well with his seniors” who got all the team members shunted out on one pretext or the other in the coming days. “While some were accused of having alcohol on duty, others were charged with defying their seniors’ order. Because I had not completed 10 years in service I was denied of all the pension benefits meant for ex-servicemen,” said Ashok.

He claimed that he was mentally and physically sound. A senior police officer said that Ashok would be made to undergo a medical test.

Ashok lives with his family in Kanjhawla area of Outer Delhi and has been working as a mechanic since being “forcefully removed” from BSF.

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