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Union ministers slam Odisha govt for body carried on shoulders

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Bhubaneswar: A day after the body of a woman was carried on shoulders in Ganjam, two Union ministers today alleged failure of the Odisha government scheme for transport of bodies from hospitals.

Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan questioned the claim of the state government about successful implementation of the ‘Mahaprayan’ scheme for carrying bodies from hospitals to their destination.

The unfortunate incident which took place at Sorada in Ganjam, the home district of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, showed that the scheme had failed, he said.


Pradhan alleged that the district officials were not doing their job as they were engaged in party work. As a result, the unfortunate incident occurred, he said.

Speaking in similar tone, Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram asked the BJD government to wake up and become sensitive as such incidents were taking place frequently.

The BJP leaders said the latest incident was reminiscent of Dana Majhi, a tribal man who walked ten km carrying his wife’s body on his shoulder in Kalahandi district in August 2016 after being allegedly denied a hearse by the district hospital. The incident had triggered a country-wide uproar.

Yesterday, the body of the woman, tied in cloth and slung to a piece of bamboo, was carried by her family members to their village at Sorishabili, about two km from the hospital, sources said.

Sources at Sorada health centre said 80-year-old Bhanumati Nayak was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday and she passed away yesterday.

The medical officer at Sorada, Dilip Nayak, said the woman’s relatives were asked to wait for the ‘Mahaprayan’ van, the government-sponsored hearse, to carry the body. “However, they took the body without intimating us,” he said.

Chief district medical officer of Ganjam Saroj Bandhu Mohapatra said that he had asked the medical officer of Baragarh Community Health Centre Biren Nayak to inquire into the incident and submit a report.