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Sharmili Mallick

Phulbani: The last rites of Kalia, one of the separated conjoined twins from Odisha who died while undergoing treatment at the SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack last night, were performed at his native Milipada village under Phiringia block in Kandhamal district, on Thursday.

Five-year-old Kalia's cremation was solemnised as per the tribal rituals in the presence of his family members, Block Development Officer (In-Charge) Sukant Kumar Nayak and villagers.

The Odisha government has provided Rs 2,000 under Harischandra Yojana and Rs 10,000 from the Chief Minister Relief Fund for the last rites of Kalia, one of the two separated twins. His brother Jaga, who is still under treatment at the SCB Medical College, is stated to be stable.

"The people of Kandhamal are saddened by the demise of Kalia. I have come here on behalf of the district administration and whatever aid is possible under the Red Cross and other government schemes, will be provided to the family members of Kalia," said Nayak.

Meanwhile, condolences poured in from various quarters following the demise of Kalia.

Expressing grief over Kalia's death, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik tweeted "Despite the relentless efforts of the doctors and the best treatment, the news of Kalia's death is very sad. May god gives patience to the bereaved family to bear the loss. Praying for the departed soul of Kalia and good health of Jaga during this difficult time."

"I am saddened to hear that one of the twin brothers of Kandhamal district, Kalia died while undergoing treatment. Despite all efforts, Kalia's life could not be saved. My prayers are with his parents and family members," wrote Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in his tweet.

Kalia had been suffering from several post surgery complications for the last few months. He had developed pneumonia and was put on ventilator support on September 28. His condition had thereafter improved and he was taken out of ventilator.

However, on Wednesday evening, his health condition deteriorated again and he had to be put on ventilator support. Kalia had developed septicemia and succumbed to cardiac arrest at 9.10 pm, informed SCBMCH Emergency Officer Bhubanananda Maharana.

Born to Bhuan Kanhar and Puspanjali Kanhar of Milipada in Kandhamal district, the twins were suffering from a rare craniopagus disorder. They were admitted to Delhi AIIMS on July 13, 2017 with the help of Odisha government.

A special team of doctors performed the complex surgery in two stages, first on August 28, 2017 and then on October 25, 2017 to separate the conjoined twins. After spending two years at Delhi AIIMS, both Jaga and Kalia returned to Odisha on September 7, 2019 and under the supervision of doctors at SCB Hospital since then. While Jaga was doing fine, Kalia was suffering from several complications for the last few months.

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