Jaffar Hussain, a member of CPI (ML), was attacked early on Friday morning in Pratapgarh town when he stopped some sanitation officials, including the Nagar Parishad chairman, from taking pictures of women from a slum area in Bagwas, who were defecating in open. Mr Hussain was allegedly kicked, punched and beaten by the sanitation workers. He was rushed to a hospital where he later died. The autopsy report, however says he died of heart failure.
Mr Hussain's family alleges Mr Hussain never had any cardiac issues and that he died of his injuries.
"They thrashed my father and hit him on the head and in the stomach... how can the cause of death be heart failure, he never had a heart problem earlier , he died because of the beating," said Sabra, Mr Hussain's 17-year-old daughter.
She also claimed that the accused sanitation workers had in the past also taken pictures of women and "harassed" them while they were out to relieve themselves. The officials, according to them, took pictures to discourage the practice among these women.
In a press release issued a few days back, Mr Zaffar and the CPI (ML) district secretary Mahendra Chaudhary had highlighted the alleged harassment by the civic workers. They demanded authorities to either allocate money to each household to build their own toilets or stop "harassing" their women repeatedly. Most people complained that the common toilet built in the area was not fit for use.
"The common toilet built for us is so dirty and non-functional we cannot use it, what option do we have," said Sarsi Bai, one of the women from the slum area.
The BJP-ruled Rajasthan's record in stopping open defecation has not been a great success, records show. Nearly 22 per cent households still don't have access to toilets. A Swachh Bharat survey ranked Pratapgarh district where the alleged killing happened as 447 among 679 districts surveyed on household toilet coverage.