Collector orders fresh probe into man carrying wife’s body on shoulders

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Bhawanipatna: A day after the sub collector and the CDMO gave a clean chit to the hospital authorities, Kalahandi district Collector D Brunda today ordered the Chief District Medial Officer (CDMO) to conduct a fresh probe into the incident of a man carrying body of his wife on his shoulders from the hospital for 12 km before a hearse van arrived to carry the body to his village following the intervention of the local OTV reporter.

Talking to media persons, Brunda said, “Negligence on the part of the hospital authorities and security agency on duty has been observed. Strict disciplinary action will be taken against those who are responsible.”

The collector also said Dana Majhi had left the hospital with his wife’s body in the wee hours of August 24 without informing anyone at the hospital.

When asked about whether anyone in the hospital did not stop him from carrying the body of his wife on shoulders, Dana Majhi, said, “No one asked me anything in the hospital.”

Meanwhile, there was no respite from official insensitivity and heartlessness for Dana, who, along with his 12-year old daughter, had do the rounds of one office to another to record their statements on a day he was supposed to complete the death rituals of his wife as per tribal traditions. At the end of it all, the district administration handed over Rs 5,000 to Dana.

Sensitivity demanded that officials of the district administration go to the village of Dana Majhi to get the details. But in an act of gross insensitivity, the man was summoned to the office in Bhawanipatna to recount his sufferings.

Commenting on the summons to Dana, Kalahandi sub collector Sukant Tripathy said, “No report will be complete without listening to the statements of the person, who is the victim. The man was called here because he could present his version before us as well as the media.”

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has expressed shock over the incident a day after the incident rattled the conscience of the nation. “It is very distressing, we have ordered an inquiry and stringent action will be taken against those who are responsible,” he said on the sidelines of the Odisha Investors’ Meet 2016 in Bengaluru.

On whether any action has been taken in connection with the incident, Patnaik said, “Let the inquiry be over.”

On the other hand, Congress activists gheraoed the CDMO office here in protest. Party workers also burnt effigies of the Chief Minister and the Health Minister in Bhubaneswar.

PCC chief Prasad Harichandan said a fact finding team of party leaders will visit Kalahandi district tomorrow. “The incident shows the complete failure and inhumanity of the State government,” Harichandan said.

Rejecting the charges, Damodar Rout, Cooperation Minister, said, “As the Opposition does not have people’s support, they are dramatising every incident to attract people’s attention.”

“When a man decides to carry his wife’s body, what can the government do? There should be no politicking in cases where humanitarian considerations are involved,” he added.

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