Denied ration for 3 months, man allegedly dies of hunger in Latehar
A 65-year-old man allegedly died of hunger on late Wednesday night in Durup panchayat of Mahuadand block in Latehar district, after his family was denied ration for three months. The deceased was identified as Ramcharan Munda. A group of social activists who reached Munda’s house on Thursday claimed that his family had no foodgrain in the house and had not cooked for the past three days.
The administration was quick to rubbish the charges of death due to hunger, saying that Munda died of a heat stroke. The officers however, admitted that families in the village, including Munda’s, were not getting ration for the past three months as the point of sale (PoS) service system was not working for due to internet connectivity issues.
Munda’s death stirred a controversy as right to food activists claimed that this was another incident of death due to hunger in Jharkhand.
Latehar deputy commissioner Rajiw Kumar on Friday ordered immediate distribution of ration to the villagers and also ordered a probe into the matter.
Following Kumar’s direction, a team of officials led by the Mahuadand sub-divisional officer (SDO) Sudhir Kumar Das reached the village on Thursday and distributed two months’ ration among the villagers.
“The deceased had suffered a heat stroke and was being treated,” said block development officer (BDO) Priti Kisku.
“This is the 21st hunger death in Jharkhand in two years. Such deaths have earlier taken place in Latehar, Simdega, Dhanbad and Giridih districts,” said Mithilesh Kumar, a right to food activist.