THREE DAYS after a man was denied a hearse by the Kalahandi district headquarters hospital, and had to walk the 10 kilometres to his home with his wife’s body on his shoulder, the district administration Saturday dismissed a male nurse on charges of dereliction of duty.
In Balasore, the Government Railway Police (GRP) suspended ASI Pratap Rudra Mishra over the insensitive handling of another body at a government hospital in Soro block of the district the same day.
The incidents, and the photographs, had sparked outrage.
“The chief district medical officer (CDMO) today disengaged a male staff nurse and the security agency on duty (at the hospital). They were found guilty in the preliminary inquiry into the incident,” Kalahandi District Collector Brundha D said.
Stating that the hospital’s hearse is “usually engaged for about 25 days a month”, CDMO B K Barhma said Rajendra Rana, the male nurse who was on duty Wednesday, when Dana Majhi’s wife Amang Dei, 42, died, did not report the case to the authorities. Not left with a choice, Majhi, a tribal man, carried the body home.
About the security agency, officials said its staff are required to verify death certificates before allowing a body to be taken out of the hospital, but they let Majhi leave with his wife’s body without a death certificate.
A Congress fact-finding team today met Majhi at his village in Melghar, Thuamul Rampur block, and alleged that he could not perform the last rites as per tradition since he was “made to run from one office to another” in the name of a probe. Congress leader Pradip Majhi said, “They (the authorities) could simply have given the money at his village.”
In the Balasore incident, a widow named Salamani Barik, 80, was crushed by a goods train near Soro railway station Wednesday morning. Despite being informed, GRP personnel reached the hospital in the evening — almost 12 hours later.
The body had to be taken to Balasore district hospital for postmortem, but with no ambulance available, two railways sweepers broke the body at the hip, wrapped it in a sheet, tied it to a bamboo pole, and carried it to the railway station about 2 km away. The body was then taken to Balasore by train.
— WITH PTI