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Sewer cleaners' death: Ashram staffer held

The commission will try and help the families get the compensation. As per law, the families must get Rs 10 lakh each: Sant Lal

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Sewer cleaners' death: Ashram staffer held
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A day after two men died while cleaning a sewer at the ashram of jailed self-styled godman Rampal in outer Delhi's Mundka, the police have arrested a manager at the ashram for negligence. A person who tried to rescue the duo was affected by toxic gases as well and had to be admitted to hospital in a critical condition, the police said.

The arrested man was identified as Shyam Rathi. Senior officers said he was being questioned about the lack of safety gear as the probe, so far, has pointed out that no safety equipment was provided to the cleaners. The officer further said that the role of any civic agency has not come to the fore as the sewer was located on private property.

The incident took place around 4pm on Monday, when the two men, Amarjeet, 30, and Makhan Lal, 27, entered a sewer inside the ashram to clean it. When they did not come out, two more men went inside to check, but were themselves affected by the gases. Amarjeet and Lal were declared dead on arrival at the hospital while the third person is under treatment.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Commission for Safai Karamcharis has written a letter to the Chief Minister, demanding Rs 10 lakh as compensation for the families of the deceased. "We had come here to inspect the site. It is a 8-9 feet deep water tank. We came to know that the tank is connected to a toilet or sewer and there was presence of toxic gases, which led to the death of the two," Sant Lal, the commission's chairman, said.

"The commission will try and help the families get the compensation. As per law, the families must get Rs 10 lakh each. We have written to the CM about it," Lal added. Even devotees at the ashram expressed shock and anger over the incident. The deceased were also members of the ashram, where no outsider is allowed.

"We have lost two brothers because the government does not have machines to clean tanks," BD Sharma, a devotee, said.

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