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Two die cleaning restaurant's sewage treatment unit

Two die cleaning restaurants sewage treatment unit
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NEW DELHI: Two persons have died and two others injured after they went into a kitchen treatment unit in a restaurant named Pirates of Grill in West Delhi's Rajouri Garden.

The police received a call at around 1:30 pm that four men who got down in the kitchen treatment unit have fallen unconscious. Soon, the team from the local police station and the Fire department reached the spot and tried to rescue the injured. However, Delhi Police said that since it was a kitchen treatment plant so sections of manual scavenging Act are not attracted. The bodies have been sent for the postmortem and the families of the deceased informed. Both the deceased have been the residents of Tagore Garden.

"In the hospital, two men identified as Rakesh (45), and Ajay (19) succumbed to their injuries and two are admitted in the hospital. They have been identified as Pankaj and Raju. They all are members of Housekeeping staff of the restaurant," said a senior police officer.

Manual scavenging –a practice by which workers enter sewers and septic tanks to clean out excreta –has historically been connected to Dalit communities, making its prevalence another egregious case of caste discrimination. Though India banned the practice in 1993 and the law was amended to expand its ambit in 2013 , manual scavenging continues across the country. In 2018 alone, more than 10 people died in Delhi cleaning septic tanks.

This February, the Delhi government flagged off a fleet of 200 sewer-cleaning machines, with the aim of eradicating manual scavenging in the Capital.

"We have registered a case against the accused under relevant sections and the investigation has begun," said a senior police officer.

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