Taking suo motu cognisance of media reports on a tribal man carrying his wife’s corpse on his shoulder, the Odisha Human Rights Commission on Friday asked the collector and chief district medical officer of Kalahandi district to inquire into the matter and submit a report to it within two weeks.
Fixing the next date of hearing of the case on September 15, acting chairperson of the OHRC Justice B K Mishra, ordered the Commission officials to send copies of the relevant press clippings to the authorities for facilitating the inquiry.
The OHRC’s action came on the basis of news reports on the plight of Dana Majhi, a tribal resident of Melaghara village under Thuamul-Rampur Block in Kalahandi district.
His wife Anang Majhi had died of TB at Bhawanipatna district headquarters hospital on the night of August 23. Unable to get any help from the hospital authorities, Majhi had to carry his wife’s body on his shoulder and walked 10 kilometres.
After the matter came to light, he was provided a vehicle to complete the remaining 50-kilometre stretch to his village.
The commission said it was informed that people of Shagada village en-route to Majhi’s village at Melghara were so stunned to watch such a heart-rending situation that they threatened to stage a road block to put pressure on the district administration which promptly provided a vehicle to the tribal for his remaining journey.
In connection with a separate incident, the OHRC had yesterday also asked the district collector of Balasore and Inspector General of Railway Police to enquire into alleged carrying of a corpse by tying it to a bamboo pole.
The rights panel has also taken suo motu cognisance of the Balasore incident based on news reports.
An old woman was killed while crossing a railway track after alighting from a train at Bahanaga railway station.
However, the Railway Police personnel allegedly stuffed the body inside a sack which was hung onto a bamboo pole and carried from the hospital to Soro railway station on their shoulder.