Other States

‘Starvation death’: Jharkhand proposes foodgrain banks

Facing criticism in the wake of the death of a woman in Giridih allegedly due to starvation, the Jharkhand Food Department on Thursday proposed that the State government set up a foodgrain bank of varied capacity at block and panchayat levels.

State Food, Public Distribution and Consumer Affairs Minister Saryu Roy said his department has written to all district administrations to conduct a post-mortem if any suspected case of starvation death is reported.

“I have proposed that the government set up a foodgrain bank of 10 quintal capacity at block level and one quintal capacity at the panchayat level,” Mr. Roy told reporters. The Minister said that the bank could be managed either by his department or Rural Development or by Social Welfare Department.

Two suspected cases

The Jharkhand government has drawn flak for the death of 58-year-old Savitri Devi, who allegedly died of starvation in Mangargadi village of Giridih district after being denied foodgrain at ration shops. However, a probe report made public by the State government has has ruled out starvation as a cause for her death, citing ₹2,375 in her bank account.

Another suspected starvation death of a woman in Itkhori block of Chatra district has been reported in the media. Mr. Roy said the woman hailed from Barachatti in Bihar and had come to Itkhori about a fortnight ago.

“However, a post-mortem was conducted on the directive of the district administration and we are awaiting the autopsy report to know the exact cause of her death,” he added.

The Minister cited the probe report in the Giridih incident to trash the Opposition attack and accused them of running a campaign against the government over the issue to “defame” it.

“Why didn’t JMM MLA Jagannath Mahato, who was present at her funeral procession, ask for a post-mortem if she had died of starvation,” the Minister asked.

On JPCC president Ajoy Kumar’s demand that he resign taking moral responsibility for the death of Savitri Devi, Mr. Roy said Mr. Kumar, who himself is a doctor, should have tried to find out the details before asking for the resignation.

“The demand is nothing but a conspiracy to target the government,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 22, 2022 6:15:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/starvation-death-jharkhand-proposes-foodgrain-banks/article24108054.ece

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