An Indian man killed a 26-year-old neighbour on Saturday evening because the neighbour took too long in a public toilet he was standing in queue to use. The man ran out of patience while waiting to use the toilet, and killed his neighbour in a fight.
Hindustan Times reports the incident took place around 8.15 p.m. at a public toilet facility in Mumbai near the Mahim slope. According to Independent Online, both men involved in the incident were neighbours in a tenement with shared toilet facility, a common occurrence in densely populated urban areas in India and in many poorer countries of the world.
According to assistant police inspector B. Kadam of the Mahim police station, the victim, Simon Ningeri, an unemployed 26-year-old, was using a public toilet when another man, Santosh kargutkar, 42, an employee with a courier company, took his turn on the queue outside. But when Ningeri seemed to Kargutkar to be taking too long in the toilet he began shouting to hasten him up.
Independent Online reports that police officer Ramrao Desai at the Mahim police station, said: “It first started off as a war of words, but Kargutkar soon assaulted Ningeri."
Police officer S. Tangude, also of the Mahim police station, said, “When Ningeri emerged, Kargutkar got into an argument that led to fisticuffs." The police officer said Kargutkar started kicking Ningeri. He kicked the victim in the groin and he collapsed to the ground.
Bystanders rushed Ningeri to the hospital where he died. Meanwhile, Kargutkar had taken to him heels, without waiting to relieve himself. The police found Kargutkar around 2.30 a.m. and arrested him.
The police say kartgutkar is suspected to have been under the influence of alcohol when he attacked Ningeri. Ningeri, however, had no obvious external marks of injury and it is not certain why he died. Police are awaiting post-moterm report to identify the cause of death, Kadam said.
Independent Online reports that residents in the tenement complained that the incident was the fault of the authorities who have not provided adequate facilities in densely populated cities of India. According to a resident Rajesh Paswan: “We have absolutely no public sanitation facilities. Sometimes basic human needs take over all rationale, and this is what happened today. It is tragic that two lives have been destroyed over such a petty issue."
India's public sanitation crisisGlobal Post reports that in India, as in many other poorer countries of the world, public sanitation facilities are acutely inadequate and Indians often have to go to railway tracks or other isolated spots to relieve themselves. Jairam Ramesh, Union Minister of Rural Development in India, commented that lack of toilets is “the biggest blot on the human development portfolio in India.” According to statistics, one of every two Indians must defecate in the open and out of 600,000 villages in India, not more than 25,000 have public sanitation facilities.
Global Post reports that the Supreme Court has intervened in the issue. The court has given all states up to February 8 to build temporary toilets in all schools and permanent ones by March 31. The Supreme Court, in giving the order, has "rightly refused to entertain excuses," Global Post quotes a source.
Only four states, Bihar, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Arunachal Pradesh are set to fulfil the Supreme Court order. Maharashtra, one of the richer states in India, still has thousands of schools with no toilet facilities for girls.
It was not clear whether the Supreme Court order was the direct fallout of the death of Simon Ningeri.