Sharmili Mallick

Gajapati: Gajapati SP Amulya Dash on Thursday said Mukund Dora, the man who carried his eight-year-old daughter Banita's body on shoulders, had buried the girl after her death in a landslide when Cyclone Titli struck the district. But, when Mukund realised that he won't get the compensation money without post-mortem, he himself dug Banita's body and carried it to a hospital for autopsy, the SP added.

"The dead body was swept away in a river. But, it was retrieved later and buried in a place some six kilometres away from the motorable road," stated the SP in a press conference at district Collector's conference hall yesterday.

"After the report of her death was confirmed in government records yesterday, he came to know that medical examination of a dead body is mandatory to get the ex-gratia. As the roads in the area was completely washed away and it was difficult for him to hire a vehicle, Mukund himself dug out Banita's dead body and walked up to the hospital by keeping it on his shoulder for post-mortem," said Dash adding that he was extremely heart-broken after Banita's death and did not want anyone else to touch her body.

The SP, however, accepted that as heavy rains triggered under the impact of Cyclone Titli washed away road to the remote village, the district administration could not reach the people there.

On the other hand, after the matter was reported in the media, the district administration granted Rs 10 lakh ex-gratia to the family of Banita.

"As per instruction from the state government, the man was granted ex-gratia within 24 hours," said Gajapati district Collector Anupam Shah.