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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 26:

Exactly two days after the shocking incident of Dana Majhi having to carry his wife’s body on his shoulders for about 12 km on failing to afford to hire a hearse or ambulance to carry her home-60 km away in Thuamul Rampur block, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today described the incident as ‘extremely distressing’ and claimed that the state government was probing the matter while adding that stringent action will be taken against those found guilty.

man carrying dead wife on shoulders copy

Further attention will be paid to see to it that such incidents are not repeated in the future, Patnaik said while informing that the state government has launched a scheme to provide free ambulance service for carrying bodies of the dead from government hospitals to their homes.

“It’s very distressing news. We have ordered an inquiry and very stringent action will be taken against whosoever is guilty and we have a new policy in force now-ambulance service to carry bodies where they are required to,” stated Patnaik speaking to reporters at Bengaluru today.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik

Meanwhile, the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) today suo motu registered a case in the matter and served notices to Kalahandi Collector and Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) directing them to reply within two weeks.

The Congress today gheraoed the CDMO’s office at Bhawanipatna protesting against his comments on the incident and demanded an assistance of Rs 10 lakh for Dana Majhi’s family.

The CDMO had stated that Dana Majhi had taken his wife’s body without informing anyone at the hospital. He had even said that the doctor hadn’t declared her dead.

“Why didn’t the Chief Minister make the announcement he made yesterday on assuming office? He has been elected four times. He had announced it in February that it will be done immediately. Why wasn’t it implemented immediately? Weren’t there any hospital staff while he took his wife’s body?” asked Bhakta Das AICC general secretary.

The Samajwadi Party today staged a demonstration at the Master Canteen Square in the state capital protesting against the incident while demanding action against those guilty.

Excise and Cooperation Minister Damodar Rout and BJD spokesperson Pratap Dev have reacted to the allegations of the opposition over the incident.

“If there has been any lapse on anyone’s part he or she will be penalized after inquiry. I had told that yesterday and today the Chief Minister has said the same. As the opposition parties have lost their support base among the people, they are trying to paint an accident into an incident hoping that people will switch sides. But they have failed to comprehend that today’s masses belong to the 21st century and their awareness level is very high. They are well aware and they know them very well,” said Rout in his reaction on the charges of the opposition parties.

“This is an extremely sad incident. There is no excuse for this. Whosoever is responsible for this, surely action must be taken against them. This is an incident of local nature which had taken place at the district headquarters hospital in Bhawanipatna. It won’t be proper to generalize everything in Odisha. The Chief Minister has today said that whoever is responsible for the lapse, strong action will be taken against them whether it has happened with their knowledge or without their knowledge. The government has taken the matter very seriously and action will be taken against whoever is found guilty,” said Dev to reporters.