More than a week after Kalahandi tribal Dana Majhi was forced to carry his wife’s body on his shoulders and walk 12 km, the Prime Minister’s Office has sought a report on the incident from the Odisha government.
Majhi, from the backward Thuamul Rampur block of Kalahandi, could not afford a hearse. Neither was he provided one by the Kalahandi district headquarters hospital authorities after his wife died of TB.
The PMO’s letter has sought details of the incident, said BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb. “All facts about how the incident happened, what action has been taken, everything in detail will be certainly provided to the PMO by the state government at the earliest,” Deb said.
He said the incident was unfortunate and should not have happened. “An inquiry has been conducted on the incident and the government has received the report. The state government will accordingly inform the PM,” Deb said.
The letter from the PMO comes in the wake of Bahraini Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa donating an undisclosed sum to Majhi after learning of the incident through media reports.
Meanwhile, a 108 ambulance allegedly forced the parents of a girl to deboard after the seven-year-old died on the way to hospital.
Barsha Khemudu of Ghusapalli village of Malkangiri was being taken in the ambulance from Mathili hospital after she was referred to the Malkangiri district headquarters hospital. On the way the girl died, after which the ambulance driver allegedly forced the parents of the child to get down at Nayakguda.
Noticing them, passersby contacted the local BDO and medical authorities, who sent an ambulance to carry the body of the child back to her village.
District collector K Sudarshan Chakrabarty said an FIR had been lodged against three persons, including the driver and a pharmacist, for dereliction of duty. He said the administration has been asked to provide all facilities to the parents under government rules.