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Man carrying daughter’s body: Probe ordered into hearse delay

After the video of Ishwar Das walking with his daughter's corpse went viral late Friday, minister T S Singh Deo, who is the MLA from Ambikapur, announced a probe into the incident.

Written by Gargi Verma | Raipur |
Updated: March 28, 2022 2:08:58 am
A screengrab from video shared by @ANI_MP_CG_RJ on Twitter

HOURS AFTER a video went viral of a man carrying the corpse of his daughter from a medical centre after failing to get a hearse van in Chhattisgarh’s Surguja district, state Health Minister T S Singh Deo ordered a probe into the matter and a show-cause notice has been issued to the Block Medical Officer.

On March 25, Ishwar Das, 30, a resident of Amdala village in the district, took his seven-year-old daughter Surekha to the community health center (CHC) in Lakhanpur, 10 km from his home. According to medical personnel at the health centre, the girl was brought in with complaints of severe stomach ache and high fever that had lasted over two days. “When she was admitted, her oxygen level was very low. We tried to resuscitate her but she died within a couple of hours of admission,” said Vinod Bhargava, a Rural Medical Assistant at the CHC.

Ishwar, who was accompanied by his relative Deepak and some other people from his family, allegedly waited for a hearse for over an hour at the CHC. “The CHC people kept calling the drivers, who were in Ambikapur (the district headquarters that’s over 25 km away). They kept telling us the drivers are on their way. So we decided to bring her back to the village,” Deepak Das said.

While reports said Ishwar Das carried the body back home after they failed to get a hearse van, Deepak said Ishwar only walked about 200 metres to the community centre where they had parked their bike. “We went back home the way we had come,” he added.

According to officials in Lakhanpur block, the lack of vehicles to ferry patients to the CHC has caused problems in the past. “The hearse usually comes from Ambikapur or Udaipur and they take time. We have urged the collector to provide us with a vehicle at the block level too,” said an official.

After the video of Ishwar Das walking with his daughter’s corpse went viral late Friday, minister Deo, who is the MLA from Ambikapur, announced a probe into the incident. “I have seen some disturbing pictures and videos… I have asked the CMHO to initiate a probe. Those who are posted there but are not able to discharge their duties should be removed,” he told the media. “The health official concerned — from Lakhanpur village — should have urged the father to wait for the hearse van instead of letting him carry the body like that,” he added.

Health department officials said the probe would focus on the girl’s medical condition at the time of admission and the treatment given to her, the cause of her death and the delay in the arrival of the hearse van.

CMHO Poonam Sisodia said he has also initiated a rapid fever survey in the girl’s village, Amdala. “When the patient was admitted, her oxygen level was 60 and she had fever. While her rapid Covid-19 test came negative, we decided to check if there were others in her village who had similar symptoms.”

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