HYDERABAD: Three sanitary workers died of asphyxia in a manhole in Tando Mohammad Khan town, 30 kilometres from here, and another was hospitalised in critical condition on Tuesday, triggering angry protest by relatives of the victims.

Yunus Hidayat, Badal Gujrati and Yunus Masih were cleaning the manhole near Aqsa Masjid in the town when they died due to loss of oxygen. Their bodies were later retrieved by activist of a nongovernmental organisation, Tariq Khan.

The death triggered vociferous protest by heirs and relatives of the deceased workers. They staged a sit-in and parked the ambulance carrying the bodies on main Tando Mohammad Khan-Badin road for four hours. Seven protesters, among them three women, fainted in scorching heat during the blockade.

Later, Municipal Committee chairman Syed Shahnawaz Shah talked to the protesters and announced Rs300,000 each for the deceased sanitary workers and jobs for their heirs and said that he would get another compensation for them from the Sindh government.

The protesters dispersed peacefully after his assurance.

Shahnawaz Shah and vice chairman Kareem Shaikh said at a press conference that a seven-member committee would probe the circumstances leading to the tragic incident. Deputy commissioner and SSP did not contact the protesters.

Published in Dawn, June 12th, 2024

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