A sizeable number of differently-abled persons staged a sit-in in front of the office of the District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) protesting against the lack of adequate facilities at the special camps being held to distribute Physically Handicapped (PH) certificates.

The beneficiaries are entitled to get a monthly pension of Rs. 500 besides concessions on travel and other reservations in jobs and higher education.

The men and women squatted on the road blocking the traffic for nearly half-an-hour before police intervened. The protests assumed significance in the wake of a tragic incident on Tuesday when an elderly differently-abled woman, Rosamma (70), died reportedly due to suffocation at the special PH camp on Government General Hospital premises.

Another elderly man too was hospitalised in the melee as the crowds pushed and jostled at the counters.

The DRDA, which has entrusted with the task of organising the camp to a private agency, seemed to be washing off its hands. The protestors demanded that the government pay an ex gratia of Rs.5 lakh to the victim who at GGH and also provide all the necessary facilities at the camp.