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Two Students Try To Self-Immolate As Anti-Quota Stir Continues

The government’s assurances seems not to have affected the resolve of the students against reservations who continue their stir // and this took a worse turn when two frustrated students tried to self immolate themselves - one in the capital and another in Orissa.

Rishi Ranjan, 23, whom the police described as a vendor, tried immolating himself at the capital's Ram Lila ground where medicos, who had gathered in strength, staged a rally protesting against the government's move to reserve 27 percent seats in central universities and educational institutions for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs).

'All of a sudden we saw this youth running towards the grounds in the midst of the sloganeering. He had already doused himself in kerosene and lit a match,' Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Neeraj Thakur told IANS.

Within minutes, a posse of policemen grabbed hold of Ranjan, ripped off his clothes and rushed him in a police vehicle to the adjacent Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Hospital.

Doctors described his condition as 'stable' even as he was being treated for his burn injuries.

'Rishi is not a member of the medical community. We don't know why he doused himself in kerosene and set himself on fire,' said Kumar Harsh, a member of the Youth for Equality Forum that is spearheading the protest.

In Orissa's Cuttack city, Surendra Mohanty, a final year student of the Sri Ram Chandra Bhanja (SCB) Medical College Hospital, also attempted self-immolation.

According to eyewitnesses, Mohanty brought some kerosene in a canister and poured it on himself outside the medical college.

Students who were preparing to take out a candlelight procession in the city rushed to the spot and rescued him in the nick of time. 'We managed to save him before the flames could engulf him. He was rushed to the hospital,' said a doctor.

Police, however, said the incident was not related to the anti-reservatio
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