A man who set himself on fire near the finance department in the city of Kulob has died of his injuries, deputy head physician of the central regional hospital in Kulob, Saidanvar Islomov, told Asia-Plus Monday afternoon. 

“He was burned on 95% of his body and he died of his injuries today without regaining consciousness,” Islomov said. 

The law enforcement authorities just told Asia-Plus the investigation had been launched into the incident.

Radio Liberty’s Tajik Service, known locally as Radio Ozodi, citing its sources, reported that the man, identified as Zarif Abdulloyev, 63, set himself on fire near the building of the Finance Department in Kulob Saturday (June 6) morning.  

According to Radio Ozodi, Abdulloyev had collaborated with the Kulob finance department and provided local preschool institutions with bread and the finance department had promised him to pay accumulated debts.

Meanwhile, Bakhtiyor Nazarzoda, the head of the Khatlon Main Finance Directorate, says that Zarif Abdulloyev actually did not collaborate with the Kulob Finance Department.

“The bakery that provided local kindergartens with bread was registered in the name of his brother, Faizullo Abdulloyev,” said Nazarzoda.  “Moreover, the bakery had collaborated directly with the preschool institutions and this has nothing to do with the Kulob Finance Department.”  

He further noted that the bakery of the Abdulloyev family in 2018 served local preschool institutions for 57,000 somoni, and in 2019, it served the Kulob preschool institutions for 142,000 somoni.

“Since the beginning of this year, some preschool institutions have refused their services, and those that have continued collaboration with them have been paying them on time.  But some of them had a debt to the bakery from the previous year – only 21,000 somoni,” Nazarzoda said.”  

But due to the fact that over the past few months, the institutions have not functioned for obvious reasons, the sides agreed that the debt will be paid off in installments.  

“By law, if one of the parties does not fulfill the terms of the contract, the other one has the right to go to court,” Nazarzoda noted.  

He added that the day before the incident, Zarif Abdulloyev came to see the head of the Kulob Finance Department and the Finance Department representatives promised him to help sort out the situation.