Special Correspondent

Man sustains more than 85 per cent burns

JAMNAGAR: A 30-year-old man tried to immolate himself in a theatre here to protest against the release of the Aamir-Khan-starrer Fanaa.

Identified as Pravin Joshi, a resident of Rajkot, the man has been admitted to the Government hospital with more than 85 per cent burns. Doctors give little chance of survival.

He gave a statement to the police in the presence of the deputy mamlatdar of Jamnagar, N.B. Kacha. He said the theatre staff tried to douse the fire and shifted him to the hospital. A couple of the staff also sustained minor injuries while rescuing Mr. Joshi.

Mr. Joshi was watching the 3.30 p.m. show of the film. During the interval, he went inside the toilet, doused himself with petrol and set himself afire while shouting pro-Narmada dam slogans.

In his statement, Mr. Joshi said he had expected someone to rescue him quickly as he was in the toilet. However, there was no one present.

By the time the theatre staff rushed to his rescue after hearing his shouts, he was badly burnt.

The theatre is the only one in Gujarat where Fanaa is being screened since Tuesday. On the first day police protection was provided to the theatre, in view of the opposition from the Bharatiya Janata Party Yuva Morcha to the release of the film in Gujarat. There was no police protection subsequently as there were no attempts to stage demonstrations.

Security checks on movie-goers were also suspended from the second day.

The BJP Yuva Morcha had been agitating against the release of the film in the State in view of Aamir Khan's support for Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar. The Morcha had demanded that he apologise before the film was released in Gujarat.

Attack on club

In Surat, some BJP activists attacked a private club where the film was allegedly screened. The club members clashed with the BJP activists, following which four persons were arrested.

Congress and BJP workers clashed in Amreli on Sunday afternoon after a "farmers convention" at the Amreli market yard.