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Ex-home guard tries to kill self

The home guard who tried to set herself on fire at Mahatma Gandhi Marg in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday. Picture by Ashwinee Pati  

Bhubaneswar: A dismissed home guard suffered burn injuries after she set herself on fire at Mahatma Gandhi Marg here on Tuesday afternoon.

The home guard, identified as Kanchan Patra, alleged that she took the extreme step for not being assigned duty.

Patra poured kerosene on her body at the dharna place and set herself on fire. However, timely police intervention saved her from sustaining severe burn injuries.

Patra, with burn injuries on her legs, was immediately rushed to Capital Hospital.

Sources said Patra had been dismissed from service in 2011 for dereliction of duty.

On July 25, Patra tried to committed suicide by jumping into the Kuakhai river during an operation to save two schoolchildren from drowning.

Fire brigade personnel had also rescued Patra.

"I have been running from pillar to post, as the higher authorities have been ignoring me. Most of the time they don't meet me. Though they have promised to reinstate me, it is yet to be done. I am finding it difficult to manage my family," she said.

Deputy commissioner of police Anup Sahoo said two cases, including one of theft, were pending against her.

"We will also register a case against her for trying to commit suicide at the dharna place," said Sahoo.

The police said she was taking such drastic tactics to put pressure on the higher authorities.

"She had jumped into the Kuakhai in the presence of mediapersons. They were present to cover the ongoing rescue operation to save the two kids. She had been threatening her seniors to commit suicide if she was not reinstated. Though she had been dismissed in November 2013 , Patra continues to don the home guard's uniform," said a police officer.

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