Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 11:
The Odisha government today claimed that the 55-year-old woman in Bolangir district had died following prolonged illness and not due to starvation as alleged.
A day after Odisha Assembly was disrupted over the alleged starvation death in Bolangir district Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Bijayshree Routray said in a statement in the Assembly that information received from the district collector showed that the death of village was not due to starvation but because of prolonged illness.
Stating that she had died on December 7 and her last rites were performed the next day the Minister added that Bolangir tehsildar and BDO have conducted a joint inquiry into the incident.
Routray told the House that Sua Dei was a widow and had been suffering from paralysis for the last eight to nine years and was bed-ridden for last two years.
He said her only son Kalindi Nag (35) had suddenly left the village along with his wife and three children and their whereabouts were not known.
Routray pointed out that Sua Dei had received widow pension of Rs 300 till October 2015 and 25 kg BPL rice up to November 17 this year. She was being looked after by her neighbours, he added.
The Minister further told the House that the deceased had been provided with a house under Indira Awas Yojana where she was residing.
The House had witnessed ruckus by the Opposition Congress to be joined by the BJP leading to repeated adjournments over the allegation of starvation death of the woman.
It was only after Speaker Niranjan Pujari directed the state government to give a statement on the matter in the House within 24 hours that normalcy had returned.