New Delhi: It was sad, said union minister M Venkaiah Naidu this morning, that Ravinder Kumar, an e-rickshaw driver, was beaten to death in national capital Delhi for stopping people from urinating in public. Mr Kumar was promoting "Swachch Bharat (Clean India)," said the minister, adding that he has spoken to Delhi's police commissioner and "asked him to take strongest action possible against the culprits."
- Venkiah Naidu condemned the killing of Ravinder Kumar
- He was promoting Swachch Bharat(Clean India), said Mr Naidu
- Police yet to identify and nab attackers
Mr Kumar, 34, had on Saturday objected to two young men urinating on the road near his e-rickshaw stand next to a metro station in north Delhi's Mukherjee Nagar. The infuriated men threatened him and returned hours later in a larger group and beat him with brass metal and towels filled with stones for at least 20 minutes, his family and friends said.
He was attacked at about 8.30 in the evening near the crowded station, but no one came forward to rescue Mr Kumar. He died late Saturday night.
The police have registered a case of murder. Deputy Commissioner of Police Milind Mahadeo Dumbere told news agency IANS that the police are examining CCTV footage to identify the accused. "We feel 12 to 13 youths were involved, but there could have been more. A search is on to nab the youths in PG hostels and other possible hideouts," he said.
Mr Kumar's brother Vijender Kumar said he did not have any visible injuries when he returned home on Saturday evening and so did not visit a doctor. But later in the night, he fell unconscious. The family rushed him to hospital, where doctors said he had died.
Urinating in public is not illegal, but there has been a major thrust on sanitation following Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Clean India campaign. Toilets have been built and awareness drives have been held across the country for the last two years.
After completing three years in office last week, the government said 2.09 crore toilets have been built as part of the campaign so far. There were only 49.76 lakh in 2013-14.