A tribal in northern Orissa's impoverished Mayurbhanj district has been living on a tree for the past three days under the mistaken notion that he would have to pay Rs4,000 for his wife's caesarian delivery on Monday.
Hospital officials have informed Ajambar Munda, 26, that his wife had delivered a baby girl at a government hospital and that he would not have to pay anything. But this has so far had no effect on Munda, who has refused to budge from what he seems to consider his safety zone.
Munda told officials that someone in the hospital had told him he would have to pay Rs4,000 for his wife Sambari Munda's operation.
As soon as he was heard this, he fled to a nearby forest and clambered up a tree and has steadfastly refused to come down.
When the hospital authorities called in the police and fire brigade, Munda climbed even higher — upto an estimated 60 feet, an official said.
The authorities have been giving him food and keeping him in good humour.
"Forcing him to come down may be risky. So we are taking utmost care in rescuing him," Mayurbhanj district medical officer B.K. Nayak said on Thursday.
Nayak said Munda would undergo psychiatric treatment once he is rescued.