Jamphel Yeshi in a file photo
New Delhi, March 26: Jamphel Yeshi, the 27 year-old Tibetan who set himself on fire earlier today is currently in a "very serious" condition.
Senior doctors at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital in the Indian capital say Jamphel Yeshi has suffered 98 per cent burns on his body.
Jamphel Yeshi escaped to India in 2006 and studied at the Tibetan Transit School in Dharamshala for nearly three and a half years.
A native of Kham Tawu, eastern Tibet, he has been living in Delhi for nearly two years now.
"He was a very religious and patriotic person and was always the first to volunteer for various social and religious services," an old lady, his neighbour said crying outside the hospital.
Jamphel Yeshi's father had passed away and his mother and four siblings, all older than him, are in Tibet.
"He had received severe beatings from the Chinese security personnel guarding the border during his escape," one of Jamphel Yeshi's cousin told Phayul. "He had to undergo treatment for at least two years after coming into exile."
According to another cousin, who lives with him in Delhi, this is not the first time that Jamphel Yeshi had tried to burn himself.
"A couple of years ago, I came to know of his plans to self-immolate and had to convince him against his plans," the other cousin said. "But today, he hid his plans from all of us and torched his body."
Inside the gates of a closed compound, from where Jamphel Yeshi came out running engulfed in flames, a half melted bottle of kerosene, match sticks, and a cloth doused with kerosene could be seen.
Outside the hospital, a group of Tibetans are holding vigil, praying for Jamphel Yeshi's recovery.
Representative of His Holiness the Dalai Lama to New Delhi, Tempa Tsering also paid a short visit to check on Jamphel Yeshi.
The Tibetan Youth Congress, who had organised the mass protest against Chinese President Hu Jintao's imminent visit to India, in a release today paid "homage" to the "heroic sacrifice" of Jamphel Yeshi.
"TYC pays homage for Jamphel Yeshi's heroic sacrifice and expresses sincere condolence to his family and friends," TYC said in their release. "Attempts are being made to contact his mother and relatives inside Tibet."
The Dharamsala based Central Tibetan Administration in a release today categorically rejected Chinese allegations that His Holiness the Dalai Lama is “encouraging self immolations in Tibet.”
“It (CTA) deplores the usual blame tactics utilized by the Chinese Government, instead of accepting responsibility for the increasing number of self immolations in Tibet and addressing the grievances to such actions.”
CTA listed at least seven reasons why Beijing is responsible for the self immolations in Tibet, including the continuing occupation of Tibet, political repression, shooting and killing of peaceful protestors, and patriotic re-education and demonization of His Holiness the Dalai Lama.