NHRC issues notice to the Odisha Government over media reports about undignified treatment to two dead women

Taking suo motu cognizance of media reports alleging undignified treatment to two dead women by the concerned authorities in Odisha, the National Human Rights Commission has issued a notice to the Government of Odisha through its Chief Secretary for submitting a report within 4 weeks.

The first incident relates to a man carrying his wife’s body for 10 Km as the district headquarters Hospital at Bhawanipatna did not provide him the ambulance. The second incident is also about the non-availability of an ambulance due to which an old woman’s body was slung on a bamboo pole to carry that it to Balasore hospital for postmortem after she was crushed to death under a good’s train near Soro Railway Station.

The Commission, expressing its anguish and pain over the two reported incidents, has observed that, if true, these raise serious questions of violation of human rights of the two deceased persons. Right to life of a person under Article 21 of the Constitution of India would also mean that his/her dead body is treated with respect and the last rites are performed with dignity. The above incidents have taken place, reportedly, in spite of there being a scheme “Mahaprayana” offering free transportation of bodies from Government Hospitals to the residences of the deceased.

National Human Rights Commission

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