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Jeff Knaebel, R.I.P.
American kills self, blames India, US
An American national disturbed over denial of Indian citizenship allegedly committed suicide by immolating himself on a hill at Virat Nagar, around 75km from Jaipur, in the wee hours of January 26. Jeff Knaebel, 72, had been living in Shimla since 1995 and had repeatedly tried to get Indian citizenship. He was from San Francisco in California.
Superintendent of police (Jaipur rural) Mohan Singh said on Thursday, “The deceased has left behind a suicide note which mentions, ‘January 26, Republic Day, 3/4 moon. In protest of cruel incidents of the US and the Indian government, please don’t disturb until the police comes, documents are in the handbag’ (sic). Apart from some papers, Rs45,000 was recovered from the handbag which Knaebel, as per suicide note, wished to be distributed among poor widows.”
Police have recovered five bottles of a chemical, which Knaebel is suspected to have poured on himself, and a lighter from the spot.
The SP said preliminary inquiry revealed Knaebal was a follower of Mahatma Gandhi.
Had moved SC
On May 14 last year, Knaebel, a veteran of the Vietnam War, had approached the Supreme Court seeking political asylum in India.
Knaebel had torn his passport at Rajghat on June 19 in 2009. “After tearing up my passport, I’m stateless,” he had told HT. Arguing his case, Knaebel said US policies were based on war and destruction.