Panel questions lack of post-mortem after death of nine tribals

November 4th, 2008 - 12:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, Nov 4 (IANS) A Committee of Secretaries (CoS) has questioned why there was no post-mortem after the death of nine members of the primitive tribe of Birhors in Jharkhand last month and criticised the administration for the failure to deliver benefits of the schemes meant for such communities.The three-member CoS submitted its report to Jharkhand Chief Secretary A.K. Basu Friday.

The committee was formed by the state government to probe the death of nine Birhors in Hindiakala village of Chatra district, about 210 km from here, on Oct 1.

The committee members, Welfare Secretary U.K. Sangama, Health Secretary Pradeep Kumar and Rural Development Secretary S.K. Sathapathy, visited the Pratappur block of Chatra, spoke to the affected people and reviewed the schemes meant for primitive tribes.

The committee report, a copy of which is with IANS, denies that the deaths took place due to hunger and says food poisoning was the main cause of the tragedy though it has questioned the lack of post-mortem to ascertain the exact cause of deaths.

The committee has indicted the district administration for not effectively implementing welfare schemes like Antyodaya and Annapurna to help the primitive tribes.

“The delivery system has virtually collapsed. To conserve the primitive tribes we need to improve the delivery system to implement the schemes,” a committee member told IANS here.

In the last one month at least 20 members of primitive tribes have died. While officials say the deaths are caused by food poisoning, social workers term them as hunger deaths.

In Chatra district 17 members of two primitives tribes have died in two villages.

The nine deaths in Hindiakala village were followed by the death of eight Baiga tribe members in Bhitaha village of the same district.

Two Birhors died in Koderma district last week and one death was reported from Dumka district.

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