Tribal woman’s body dumped in MP river as family had no money for cremation
The brother of the woman, who was in her late 30’s, said his sister had been sick for the past several days. As her condition deteriorated on Sunday, their neighbours called on 108 for an ambulance but there was no response from the other side.Updated: Jul 01, 2020 09:53 IST
The body of a tribal woman was thrown into a river by her family in Madhya Pradesh’s Sidhi district as they did not have the money to cremate her, her relatives said on Tuesday after the video of the clip of the incident went viral.
The video clip of the family carrying the body in a cart and then throwing the body into the Son River in the district, 672 kilometres northeast of state capital of Bhopal, was repeatedly shared on social media on Monday.
The brother of the woman, who was in her late 30’s, said his sister had been sick for the past several days. As her condition deteriorated on Sunday, their neighbours called on 108 for an ambulance but there was no response from the other side.
“It was when we decided to take her to the district hospital on a handcart. At the district hospital, the doctors declared her brought dead. When we couldn’t get ambulance we approached the municipal corporation office again for help but an employee said since it was Sunday no ambulance or other assistance could be provided to us,” Ramavtar Kol of Kotaha locality in Sidhi city said.
“We didn’t have money for cremation. Hence, we took the body on the same handcart and floated it in the Son River,” he added.
“We didn’t shoot any video of our act. It was done by some passers-by. However, on Monday, some officers came to my residence and gave financial assistance of Rs 5,000,” Mahesh Col, the woman’s husband, said.
DP Barman, Sidhi’s additional district magistrate, said the “unfortunate incident” was true.
“The family members didn’t have money to cremate the body and they were not aware of any government scheme too. Now, we have provided financial aid to the family. We are looking into the incident to see if there was any fault on the part of any official or employee,” Burman said.
Chief municipal officer Amar Singh said they were not at fault.
“Though it was Sunday, the municipal corporation officers and employees were taking rounds of the city. No one approached any municipal officer or employee. There is a possibility that they might have talked to some outsider outside the office and returned,” Singh said.
Kamal Nath, the president of Congress’ Madhya Pradesh unit, launched an attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in general and chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in particular.
“Shivraj ji, when you were in Opposition you talked a lot about your government’s financial assistance to the poor for cremation but the reality is there for all to see. Where is your last rites scheme? A tribal family in Sidhi district had to float the dead body of its member in a river as it was neither given any financial assistance nor an ambulance,” Kamal Nath tweeted in Hindi.
On its part, the BJP said the Congress was speaking without verifying the facts.
“It’s unfortunate that the state Congress president indulged in politics even on such a sensitive issue without trying to know the facts. The fact is the district administration has made it clear that no one approached it for any help and when the administration came to know about the incident financial assistance was immediately provided to the family,” Dr Hitesh Bajpai, a state BJP leader, said.