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Tibetan in Delhi Self-Immolates to Protest Chinese President's Visit

  • VOA Tibetan

A Tibetan man screams as he runs engulfed in flames after self-immolating at a protest in New Delhi, India, ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to the country Monday, March 26, 2012. The Tibetan activist lit himself on fire at the gathering and w

A Tibetan man set himself on fire Monday afternoon at a protest of about 2000 Tibetans ahead of Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to India's capital.

26-year-old Jamphel Yeshi was engulfed in flames at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi before his fellow demonstrators beat out the fire.

"He came engufled in flames and shouted slogans calling for return of Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama to Tibet and freedom for Tibet." said an eyewitness to the incident.

The protester was taken to a hospital, but the severity of his injuries was not immediately clear.

Yeshi escaped from Tibet in 2006 and had been living in New Delhi for the past two years.

Chinese President Hu Jintao is expected to arrive in India later this week for a summit meeting.

In Tibet, over 30 Tibetans, mostly young monks and nuns have set themselves on fire since last March to protest Chinese rule in Tibet. At least 20 have died.

Today's self-immolation is the third in Delhi. A 25-year-old Tibetan suffered minor burns after setting himself on fire outside New Delhi's Chinese Embassy last November. In 1998, Thupten Ngodup died in a self-immolation protest at Jantar Mantar.

India has the world's largest population of exiled Tibetans, including many who fled their homeland following a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959. The Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, makes his home in the Indian city of Dharamsala.

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