Govt probe report denies hunger death in Giridih
Report of a high-level probe panel formed by the Department of Food and Civil Supplies following the reported hunger death of Savitri Devi of Giridih having taken place on June 2 has found no merit into the allegations.
The report handed over to the Department on Monday says that the woman may have died due to other health ailments for which she had undergone medical treatments at RIMS in Ranchi as well on previous two occasions.
“Based on the written application given on June 3 to ASI of Dumri thana by Hulash Kumar, son of deceased Savitri Devi, her bank account statement and health reports of her daughter-in-laws Purnima Devi and Soni Devi, the allegation of the death caused due to hunger was not established,” reads the conclusion of the investigation conducted by Sanjay Kumar, Additional Director with the Directorate and Vinay Kumar Rai, Joint Secretary with the Department.
Making public the report on Tuesday, Minister Saryu Roy termed the allegations like this mischievous on the part of anti-Aadhaar lody, food rights activists and Opposition and condemned such attempts.
“The death was unfortunate but the media, right to food activists and the Opposition collectively blew it out of proportion and played the issue nationally and internationally. We ourselves found the initial report of the district administration dissatisfactory and went on constituting a separate team here at headquarters which found nothing like hunger as a reason behind the death. Problem is that such frivolous allegations malign the image of the State. The forces like this should differentiate between attacking the incumbent Government and Jharkhand,” said the Minister on Tuesday.
He also furnished details about Savitri Devi’s medical history, bank balance with her in the tune of Rs 2375 coming under some social security schemes and good health conditions of other family members to drive home his point. “It is correct that the family had no ration card which they were entitled to but she had never applied for the same under laid down procedure. We got a bundle of paper from the family in the course of investigation suggesting she had undergone treatment at RIMS twice for paralysis and some serious brain related ailments. Also, her family despite requests made by officials and local representatives did not allow post mortem to take place which could have established the exact reason behind the death,” added Saryu Roy informing that the family now had been issued a ration card on priority basis.
He also claimed that the family members of the deceased had at the time of her last rites submitted in writing to the officials that death of Savitri Devi was normal. “It seems that there were some forces behind making hue and cry who misled the family under their vested interest. Such forces often raise such issues without any merit. I want to say them that such acts are unpleasant and condemnable,” he said.
In another case reportedly having taken place in Chatra, Secretary of the Department Amitabh Kaushal said that the families there were migratory in nature and originally belonged to Dobhi of Bihar thus entitlement, if any, lies with the neighbouring State Government, not Jharkhand.