Teenage girl dies allegedly due to starvation in U’khand

Dehradun: A teenage girl has allegedly starved to death at a village in Uttarakhand’s Almora district triggering an outrage with the Opposition Congress terming it a “blot” on the face of the state.

Almora district magistrate Savin Bansal said Chaukhutiya sub divisional magistrate has been sent to Khajurani village to investigate the matter.

While camping in the area last week, he had cleared pension for four members of the family who had been found to be mentally unstable, he said, adding the process has been started and they will soon start receiving pension.

Mahesh Negi, the BJP MLA from Dwarahat-Chaukhutia constituency where the death took place, has informed Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat about it.

17-year-old Sarita died allegedly due to starvation on April 15, he claimed in a Facebook post.

“Considering the seriousness of the issue, I spoke to the Chief Minister on telephone and informed him about the incident by fax,” the MLA said.

Negi said the Chief Minister has immediately initiated action after taking cognisance of the issue. However, he did not elaborate on what action was taken.

Holding the state government responsible for the alleged starvation death, state Congress chief Kishore Upadhyay termed it as a “blot” on the face of ‘devbhoomi’ Uttarakhand.

In a letter to the Chief Minister, Upadhyay blamed the state government’s “indifference” for the death of the girl and asked him to take due cognisance of it.

He demanded immediate financial assistance for the family besides personally extending an assistance of Rs 21,000 to the girl’s kin.

“The death…. due to starvation in Khajurani village of Almora’s Chaukhutiya area reflects the inaction of the one- month-old BJP government in the state. No one has control over death. But if deaths occur due to human error it is definitely a matter of concern,” Upadhyay said.

“The poor are not getting pension in the state and are dying of starvation. The government should pay attention to it. It is all the more worrisome as the starvation death has been reported from the home district of heavyweights like state BJP chief Ajay Bhatt and Minister of State for Child and Women’s Welfare Rekha Arya,” he said.