Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Malkangiri, Sep 2:
While the issue of a tribal man Dana Majhi carrying his wife’s body on his shoulders in Odisha’s Kalahandi district is yet to die down, another man carrying his daughter’s body in his arms has again stoked a fresh controversy over the state of affairs in the state.
According to reports, local residents in Nayakguda in the district today spotted a couple carrying their seven-year-old dead daughter on their arms after being allegedly disembarked by a 108 ambulance.
The deceased girl identified as Barsa Khemudu was admitted to Mathili Community Health Centre (CHC) last night. However, she was referred to Malkangiri District Headquarters Hospital as her condition deteriorated. The ambulance service rushed her to the hospital in a critical condition. She reportedly died on the way to the hospital.
“My child was admitted to Mathili hospital where we stayed for a night. Then, the doctor referred us to Malkangiri. While we were on our way on a 108 ambulance, my child died midway. The ambulance staff showed my dead girl to the doctors at Pandiripani hospital. Then the ambulance driver refused to take us further and asked us to get down there,” a sobbing Dinabandhu Khemudu, father of the deceased said.
With the latest case in hand being the third such alleged incident in a fortnight, a district administration official has, however, brushed aside such allegation.
“The pharmacist found that the baby had died and she was taken to Pandiripani CHC where the doctors declared her dead. The relatives of the deceased requested the ambulance staff to drop them near Nayakguda as it was nearer to their village,” Mathili BDO, Agasti Pradhan said.
Meanwhile, the district administration has filed criminal cases against three persons for dereliction of duty.
“The driver of the 108 ambulance deboarded the patient. That was totally illegal. We have lodged an FIR against three persons—the driver, district coordinator and the attender for criminal negligence. Another ambulance had arrived and we have shifted the body immediately. We are extending all the government assistance possible. It is insensitivity of the driver as he is not supposed to do that. Irrespective of anything he has to drop the patient at a hospital. He cannot drop a patient midway,” Malkangiri Collector K Sudarshan Chakraborty said.
Tension prevailed in the area for a brief period following the incident.