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Page last updated at 08:39 GMT, Friday, 2 October 2009 09:39 UK

Indian shot for public urination

A man urinates in a public place in Delhi (<i>Photo: Pranav Singh</i>)
A number of states have tried to ban urinating in public (Photo: Pranav Singh)

A man has been shot dead in a brawl over urinating near a petrol station in the Indian capital, Delhi, police say.

Himanshu Sharma, 22, and his friends got into a fight with the employees of the petrol station when they objected to his urinating near the property.

As the fight escalated, the petrol station's armed guard shot him dead. The guard has been arrested.

Correspondents say spitting and urinating in public is a common sight across India.

The culprits are almost always men but this is the first time that someone has been killed over urinating in public.

Home Minister P Chidambaram recently advised Indians to brush up on their manners and stop spitting and urinating in public places.

A number of states have tried to introduce measures to ban urinating in public in the past.

'Escalated'

Himanshu Sharma had gone to the petrol station near his house on Wednesday night along with a few friends, reports say.

"They ordered some snacks. Meanwhile, my son got down from his car and started relieving himself near the petrol pump," his father PK Sharma was quoted by Hindustan Times newspaper as saying.

Mr Sharma said the manager shouted at his son and called out some of the employees.

"A fight ensued when the petrol station owner objected," Additional Director General of Police for east Delhi Anand Mohan told the BBC.

"It started over a minor thing which escalated and led to a murder," he said.

The guard has been arrested and his weapon has been seized, Mr Mohan said.

Urinating and spitting in public is mostly blamed by critics on poor civic sense but also on the lack of public urinals.

Three years ago the government of the northern state of Rajasthan banned graffiti and spitting and urinating in public.

Calcutta has also tried to introduce measures to penalise men for urinating in public in recent years.

In some places, images of gods and goddesses have been put up to deter people from urinating or spitting there.



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