Dead woman’s hip and legs broken for easy transport

Odisha: Odisha Human Rights Commission has started a probe into a case in Balasore district where hospital workers are accused for allegedly breaking a body at the hip so that they could carry it in a bundle.

District magistrate Pramod Das said he has asked for a report from the railway police over the incident, which comes on the heels of outrage over a tribal man being forced to carry his dead wife on his shoulders in Kalahandi district the other day.

On Thursday, the panel’s Chairperson, Justice BK Mishra, issued summons to the inspector general of the railway police and to the Balasore district magistrate on the basis of the newspaper reports and TV images that showed two hospital workers breaking the dead woman’s body and wrapping it up in a sheet.

The dead body was of a woman by name Taramani Barik, an 85 year old widow, who died after she was run over by a goods train near the Soro Railway station in Balasore district. Doctors at the Soro Community Health Centre declared her as dead by the time the body was brought to them.
Railway officials, who wanted to take the body to the district headquarters hospital in Balasore town (30km away) for post-mortem, found no ambulance or any other vehicle to take the body.

A junior railway police official have asked sweepers at the health centre for help. As the body had stiffened, sweepers allegedly broke the leg and hip bones so that it could be neatly packed into a bundle and then can be carried easily. They then carried the body in the sack all the way from the hospital to the railway station on their shoulders on a bamboo pole.

The woman’s son, Rabindra Barik, stated that the railway police have treated her mother in the most inhumane way after her death. “They should have shown some dignity and respect to her dead body. The sweepers who broke the bones should be punished,” he demanded.

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