A 57-year-old shopkeeper died in south Kerala’s Kollam district after being assaulted by a man for trying to prevent him from urinating in the open, police said on Friday. The accused, a van driver, allegedly committed suicide.
The victim, Chandra Babu, confronted the man on Thursday when he saw him urinating in a vacant plot near his textile shop. This led to a scuffle between the two, and the 57-year-old, who was suffering from a heart ailments, collapsed allegedly after being beaten up.
Babu was being treated at a private hospital, but succumbed to his injuries there, police said.
A massive search was launched to nab the driver, who was found hanging at his hideout. Police said the driver, who was absconding, could have contemplated suicide after hearing about Babu’s death.
Shop owners in the area said a vacant plot near Babu’s shop had been turned into an open urinal, frequently used by drivers. They said they had complained to the health and municipal authorities several times about the smell emanating from the plot affecting their business, but to no avail.
Traders in the area observed a shutdown on Friday to condole Babu’s death.
Municipal authorities are said to be planning to build a toilet in the area, after the incident.