Rayagada: District Sub Collector Muralidhar Swain today said two deaths at the Sipijodi village were due to some other reasons and not consumption of mango kernel gruel.
Talking to reporters after a visit to the village following charges were made due to the consumption of mango kernel gruel, Swain said, “Out of the two deaths, one died due to fever while the other person, who was an 80-year-old, might have been a victim of heart stroke or any other ailment.”
The Rayagada sub collector further stated residents of the village have a stock of rice. “Therefore, there is no reason why they would consume mango kernel,” Swain added.
However, the villagers told a different version and alleged that rice was distributed in the village prior to the visit of the sub collector.
A villager said, “Rs 2000 was given to us. Besides, the Block Development Officer gave one packet rice today.”
He added, “Earlier, we were eating mango kernel, root and tubers to survive.”
Among others, social activist Sumani Jhodia, the District Supply Officer, ADMO and other officials visited the village along with the Sub Collector.
On the other hand, a seven-member team led by BJP's Rayagada district president Shiba Shankar Ulaka took stock of the situation at Sipijodi and collected information.