Spain: Parade float self-immolation threat

March 20, 2013 at 8:21 AM

VALENCIA, Spain, March 20 (UPI) -- An Indian man threatened to set himself on fire to protest the burning of a parade float in Valencia, Spain, that had featured Hindu imagery, officials say.

Community groups build extravagant floats for Valencia's world-famous Las Fallas Festival. The floats are then part of a parade before being burned during a bonfire Tuesday.

This year, the Ceramista Ros-Jose Maria Mortes Lerma group became the center of controversy over its decision to include Hindu gods on their float, The Local.es reported.

Two local Hindu groups wrote to authorities and said that burning the float would be sacrilegious and "would lead to 800 million angry Hindus." But the two groups met with the organizing committee Tuesday and it was agreed the religious imagery would be removed before the float was set ablaze.

While the float was being dismantled Tuesday, the Indian man covered himself in gasoline and threatened to set himself on fire, The Local.se said.

Police detained the man.

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