Tibetan student set himself on fire in India demanding 'freedom'



A Tibetan student has self-immolated in India after shouting "freedom", police said Saturday, injuring himself critically.



The student set himself on fire on Friday at the Central University for Tibetan Studies in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh state.



Self-immolation has regularly been used as a protest against China's actions in Tibet. But Indian police said they are also investigating the 20-year-old's recent exam failures as being a possible cause for his actions.



"We are not entirely clear about the reasons but eyewitnesses told us that he shouted 'freedom' before running out, dousing himself with kerosene and setting himself on fire," Sanjay Tripathi, a Varanasi police spokesman, told AFP.



"There were some Tibetan representatives at the institution at the time. But the institute authorities have also told us that they had announced exam results a day earlier and he had failed two exams," Tripathi added.



The International Campaign for Tibet identified the student as Tenzin Choeying. It quoted Chime Namgyal, head of the Tibetan Youth Congress activist group in Varanasi, as saying Choeying shouted "Victory to Tibet".



Police said they are still investigating and will take statements from Choeying and his family. "The boy is recovering at the hospital. He can speak but has around 50 percent burns," Tripathi said.