Amid an outcry over a tribal man forced to walk 10 km with his wife's body in Odisha's Kalahandi, district health authorities on Friday claimed there was no negligence and an ambulance was arranged to take the corpse to their village when the incident came to light.
Even as a probe was ordered into the incident that took place on Thursday, Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO) of Kalahandi Dr B.K.Brahma claimed Dana Majhi, husband of the deceased, did not contact anybody for a vehicle to take the body from the hospital to his village.
Amana Dei, wife of Dana Majhi of Melghara village under Thuamul Rampur block, was suffering from TB and was admitted in the TB ward of Bhawanipatna Government Hospital on August 23.
She was given free injection and medicines by the doctor in-charge of the ward. In the night at about 10 PM, the doctor concerned attended her, the CDMO said in a press release.
However, the patient and her husband were not found around 1 AM. On inquiry it was known that without intimating anybody he took away his wife, the CDMO claimed.
"The patient was neither discharged nor declared dead by the ward in-charge doctor," the CDMO said, adding Majhi did not ask or contact anybody for a vehicle to carry his wife's body.
Stressing that there was no negligence on the part of the hospital, Dr Brahma said when officials learnt about Majhi carrying his dead wife home, an ambulance was immediately arranged and the body was sent to his village.
By then, Majhi, accompanied by his 12-year-old daughter, had already walked around 10 km carrying his wife's body on his shoulder.
District Collector of Kalahandi, Brundha D. has directed the Sub-Collector of Bhawanipatna to conduct an inquiry into the incident, officials said.