Naveen government denies inquiry into walk with dead body on shoulder case

BHUBANESWAR: Naveen Patnaik led Odisha government denied to conduct an inquiry into the Dana Majhi incident. Dana, a tribal man in Odisha walked nearly 10 kilometres with his daughter, carrying his wife’s body on his shoulder, after he was denied a mortuary van from a government hospital.

Disposing of a grievance petition of human rights activist Subash Mohapatra, the Home department,  which is directly controlled by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, said it could not carry out an investigation into the incident of Dana Majhi, who had to walk 10 km with his wife’s body on shoulders in Kalahandi district.

“This matter does not relate to Home department as this matter coming under Health department,” said a letter from the department.

Mohapatra, in his petition, alleged that Dana Majhi and his minor daughter were subjected to abuse by the hospital staff and the district collector.

“It is unfortunate that instead of helping a tribal person, Chief District Medical Officer B K Brahma shielded his colleagues and tried to whitewash the evidence by abusing and putting the blame on the tribal person,” said Mohapatra.

He said the CDMO accused that the husband of the deceased did not contact anybody for a vehicle to take the body from the hospital to his village,” said Mohapatra.

Dana was also prevented from performing dignified last rites and rituals as the Sub-Collector Sukanta Tripathy forcefully brought him and his minor daughter to record their statement in Bhawanipatna, he added.

“As per the tribal religious and ritual, they had to perform the last ceremony on the third day. But, they were brought to Bhawanipatna, and they could not do the ritual,” said Mohapatra.

It is also revealed that Kalahandi Collector D Brunda did not visit the place of incident at the hospital and victim’s last rites place at her village, but she abused in the public place to Dana by saying that whether he killed his wife.

“It is a clear case of several offenses under SC/ST POA ACT and rules framed thereunder. Public authorities have wilfully and deliberately neglected their duties, attempted to whitewash the evidence,” said the petitioner.

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