Man who self-immolated at BJP's protest venue dies

Self-immolation bid at BJP's protest venue in TVM
The police said Venugopalan Nair had committed suicide due to personal reasons and do not have any relation to the ongoing agitation over Sabarimala issue.
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Thiruvanathapuram: Venugopalan Nair, the man who lit himself up and ran into the makeshift protest venue in front of the Secretariat where BJP leader C K Padmanabhan has been on an indefinite strike, has succumbed to injuries.

The BJP has called for a dawn-to-dusk hartal in Kerala on Friday following the death of the devotee. Sabarimala pilgrims and essential services have been exempted from the hartal.

Nair was earlier admitted to the Medical College hospital here with 90 per cent burns. Nair, who hails from Muttada near here, was 49. The police later said that he had committed suicide due to personal reasons and do not have any relation to the ongoing agitation over Sabarimala issue.

The incident took place around 2 am when Venugopalan set himself on fire and ran into the tent chanting prayers. Police personnel and BJP workers took him to the hospital.

BJP leaders had been protesting in front of the Secretariat demanding the withdrawal of the state government's alleged 'anti-devotee' approach in Sabarimala.

Various restrictions imposed by the police are in place in Sabarimala following protests from Hindu outfits against the state government's move to implement the September 28 Supreme Court verdict allowing women of all ages to offer prayers at the Lord Ayyappa temple.

Exams postponed

Mahatma Gandhi, Kannur, Calicut, Kerala, Health and Technological varsities have postponed the examinations scheduled for Friday. The new dates will be announced later. Those who attend the all India NEET (dental) test have been exempted from the shutdown.

The higher secondary and vocational higher secondary exams on Friday have also been postponed. School examinations have been postponed to December 21.

The interview and aptitude test for the post of assistant professors in Agri varsity, scheduled for Friday, will be conducted on Saturday. The interviews scheduled for Saturday will be conducted on Sunday.

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