PMO seeks report on Dana Majhi case

Bhubaneswar: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has sought details from Odisha government about Dana Majhi, the tribal man who carried his wife’s body on his shoulder in Kalahandi district.

The letter was received yesterday. “They (PMO) have sought details including the circumstances under which the tribal man carried his wife’s body on shoulder and walked miles,” BJD spokesman Pratap Keshari Deb said today.

Decribing the incident at Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district as “unfortunate”, he said the state government would not “hide” anything about the incident.

“As the Kalahandi district collector had conducted an inquiry into the incident through the additional district magistrate, the government will apprise the PMO about its findings soon,” Deb said.

The state government felt that this kind of incident should not have happened at all in Odisha, he said.

On August 24, Dana Majhi, a resident of Melghar village in Kalahandi district, had carried his wife’s body on his shoulder and walked 10 km accompanied by his minor daughter after allegedly being denied a hearse by the district hospital.

The district administration had disengaged a male staff nurse and a security agency of the hospital on the charge of negligence in duty which led to Majhi carrying his wife’s body on his shoulder despite the fact that the government has a programe for transportation of bodies from the hospital to the deceased’s residence.

The incident created outrage across the country and left an impact abroad too. Prime Minister of Baharin Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa has reportedly extended financial help to Majhi’s family.

Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram said here today that the incident is a “sensitive” matter. “It has brought shame to both Odisha and the country. The state government has completely failed in taking care of tribals,” he said.

“We are pained over the Dana Majhi’s case,” Union Health Minister J P Nadda said, adding, “The Centre has been providing funds to the state (Odisha) under National Rural Health Mission. The state should utilise it properly.”

Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan also came down heavily on the Odisha government over the incident.

“Had the state government taken exemplary action against the persons responsible in Dana Majhi case, it would not have been repeated in Malkangiri,” Pradhan said

A father in Odisha’s Malkangiri district was forced to walk miles carrying the body of his seven-year-old daughter as the ambulance transporting the patient to the hospital allegedly left them midway after knowing the girl died on the way.