Bhubaneswar, Aug 25 The Kalahandi district administration of Odisha on Thursday ordered an inquiry into the shocking incident of a tribal man taking his wife's body home on his shoulder after hospital authorities denied him a mortuary van or an ambulance.
"I have asked the sub-divisional magistrate to conduct an inquiry and submit the report by Thursday evening. Then we will take next course of action over the incident," Kalahandi District Collector Brundha D. told IANS.
She said preliminary report suggested that the tribal man took the dead body without informing the hospital authorities.
"According to the preliminary inquiry, the tribal man took the body without informing the hospital authorities. Even the doctors did not complete the discharge procedures," said the collector.
Dana Majhi walked 10 km along with his daughter carrying his wife's body on his shoulder, after he failed to obtain a mortuary van or an ambulance from the hospital authorities.
His wife Amang Deis died of tuberculosis at the district headquarters hospital at Bhawanipatna on Wednesday.
Majhi said he wrapped the body of his wife in a length of cloth and carried it on his shoulders as he could not get an ambulance.
"The hospital authorities said that there are no vehicles. I pleaded with them saying I am a poor person and cannot afford a vehicle to carry my wife's body. Despite repeated requests, they said they cannot offer me any help," said Majhi.
He walked to his village Melghara in Rampur block, which is about 60 km from Bhawanipatna.
When some local reporters spotted Dana, he had already covered 10 km on his way from the hospital to his home. Majhi's daughter accompanied him. The local reporters arranged an ambulance for carrying the body to his home.
The Biju Janata Dal government had launched the Mahaparayana scheme in February this year to facilitate transporting dead bodies from government hospitals and government-affiliated hospitals to the residence of the deceased across the state.