Jharkhand ‘starvation’ death: Government says woman had Rs 2,375 in bank, did not die due to hunger

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New Delhi | Updated: June 6, 2018 10:24:49 AM

The Jharkhand government has rejected the claims of the family of an old woman in Giridih district who allegedly died due to starvation. The BJP government led by Chief Minister Raghubar Das has cited medical and bank records to deny reports and said that the woman had Rs 2,375 in her bank account,

JHARKHAND STARVATION DEATHHer family has claimed that “no food was cooked in the house since at least three days before she died”.

The Jharkhand government has rejected the claims of the family of an old woman in Giridih district who allegedly died due to starvation. The BJP government led by Chief Minister Raghubar Das has cited medical and bank records to deny reports and said that the woman had Rs 2,375 in her bank account, according to The Indian Express. “Every death is sad but there should be no politics on it. Before arriving at any conclusion, the facts should be inquired into first. We are all saddened by the death of sister Savitri Devi, but the inquiry report clearly establishes that the death was not due to hunger,” the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) stated.

Officials further said that Devi was suffering from parenchymal haematoma, or bleeding inside the brain. She was even treated at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi.

Following the death, it was reported that the woman did not have a ration card to procure foodgrains. Local officials are yet to ascertain why the 58-year-old’s family did not possess a ration card. Her family has claimed that “no food was cooked in the house since at least three days before she died”. The details of Devi’s bank account were ascertained only after officials updated the passbook after she died, according to the IE report.

Chainpur panchayat mukhiya, Ram Prasad Mahato, said: “Savitri Devi had come to me two-three months ago to ask about her widow pension for which she was eligible in 2014. I checked and realised that her bank account was not linked with her Aadhaar. I got that done. On April 4, Rs 1,800 — pension for three months — was credited into her account. But she never checked her passbook. I came to know that she had that money in her account only after it was updated — after her death.” Mahato has earlier confirmed to PTI that the family of the deceased neither had a ration card nor an old age pension facility.

Villagers found her dead on Sunday. Savitri’s husband had passed away 10 years ago and her two sons have migrated to Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra to earn a living, according to the report. In December last year, 67-year-old Etwariya Devi from Sonpurwa village of Garhwa district died of hunger after her family was unable to procure food after the Aadhaar-enabled point of sales (PoS) machine could not authenticate biometrics of her daughter-in-law.

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