UDAIPUR: Tension prevailed for hours in Pratapgarh town after a union leader died after being manhandled by a team of sanitation workers of the municipal council reported Times of India.

The incident occurred, when the victim tried to dissuade sanitation workers from clicking pictures of women who had gone to relieve themselves in the open on Friday morning.

Things went out of hand when 55-year-old Zafar Khan stopped the team from clicking pictures of some women, who were defecating in the open fields. The team, reportedly, was trying to shame the women in an attempt to discourage them.

Officials claimed that Khan suffered a heart stroke during the incident, though the post-mortem report would clarify the cause of death. Following protests after his death, police detained all the seven members of the sanitation team who had carried out the awareness campaign under the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM).

Demanding immediate action, protesters blocked the roads in the main market and NH 112 for two hours.

"There was a scuffle between the residents of Kachhi Basti and the sanitation team which had gone for a morning campaign under the SBM. A case has been registered and the police are investigating it. Lawful demands of the aggrieved family will be met and a job on compassionate grounds will be provided as per the provisions," said Hemendra Nagar, additional divisional magistrate.

The municipal council chairman too announced an ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the victim's family, sources informed.

The incident took place early on Friday morning when sanitation workers came across women relieving themselves near Kachhi Basti, located in the middle of Pratapgarh town.

Since they were on duty to create awareness among the public against open defecation, the team tried to dissuade the women. As a heated argument broke out between the women and the team, Khan, a local union leader and CPM worker, intervened and reasoned with the team that the women had no other option due to lack of toilets at their homes. He informed the team that the community toilet too was not functional due to lack of maintenance.

The heated conversation led to a fight between concerned parties and, according to eyewitnesses, Khan was badly beaten up by the sanitation workers. Though his family and neighbours rushed him to the hospital, he died during treatment.

Later, residents of Kachhi Basti gathered in large numbers and staged a protest. Khan's family members demanded filing an FIR against the municipal council team and the commissioner, who they claimed, was present at the time of the scuffle. Sensing a communal tension, a larger force was deployed outside the hospital as well as the main streets to prevent any untoward incident. Authorities also tried to pacify the protesters who raised slogans and staged a dharna.