Probe ordered into dumping of body along NH-5

Bhubaneswar/Soro, July 13: The state government Thursday ordered a probe into the alleged dumping of a dead body along the NH near Soro. 

The health and family welfare department has directed the Balasore Collector to investigate into the matter, said a senior official of the department.

Earlier, it was alleged that a 108 ambulance had dumped the body on roadside. However, the health department has clarified that following an inquiry, it has been found that neither 102 nor 108 ambulance was involved in this incident.

Meanwhile, ground report suggests that the driver of a mahaprayan vehicle, which was carrying the body of an elderly person from a hospital in Balasore district headquarters, had dumped it along National Highway-5 near Paikali bridge. 

It is alleged that the driver did this because the kin of the deceased, who were accompanying the body, didn’t have money to pay the former. 

The deceased has been identified as Sheikh Rehman (62) of Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh. He was engaged as a daily wager and lived on the verandah of Alekh Baida at Chintamanipada. When he fell ill Wednesday night, Alekh’s family hired an auto-rickshaw to take him to Soro CHC.  

Subsequently, as Rehman’s condition deteriorated, he was shifted to the district headquarters hospital. He succumbed to his ailment in the hospital. Later, a number of social activists buried the body.  

Now, the Collector has been asked to look into various angles related to this incident, as such incidents had caused serious embarrassments for the state government in the past.

The incident of Dana Majhi in Kalahandi is one such embarrassing case, wherein he carried his wife’s body on his shoulders in the absence of a hearse. This incident had hogged international headlines, following which the state government had come up with a set of guidelines to deal with dead bodies with respect.

The new guidelines issued last year suggest that if a family asks for a hearse, the district collector would require granting aid from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to transport the body from a government hospital to any destination within the district.

It also stated that the body should be carried on a stretcher/cot as far as possible and it should be kept appropriately in a designated place until all formalities are over.

While police stations in rural areas were permitted a grant of Rs 1,500 towards transportation expenses of such bodies, a sum of Rs 1,000 would be allotted in urban areas and Rs 2,000 would be granted for “unusual cases”.  PNN


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