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Father carries daughter’s body as ambulance leaves them midway

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Malkangiri (Odisha): In a near rerun of the Dana Majhi incident in Kalahandi, a man here was forced to walk miles carrying his seven-year-old daughter’s body today as the ambulance transporting them allegedly left them midway.

The ambulance driver had allegedly asked the girl’s parents to get down after coming to know that the girl has died on the way to Malkangiri district hospital.

Barsha Khemudu of Ghusapalli in Malkangiri died while being taken by her parents in the ambulance from Mithali hospital from where she was referred to Malkangiri district hospital following deterioration in her health condition.

“The driver asked us to get down from the ambulance as soon as he came to know about the girl’s death on the way,” Dinabandhu Khemudu, the girl’s father, said.

The matter came to light when locals inquired about Khemudu and his wife walking carrying the body of their daughter. The villagers then contacted the local BDO and medical authorities to get another vehicle to carry the body to their village.

Meanwhile, Malkangiri district collector K Sudarshan Chakravarthy has asked the chief district medical officer Uday Shankar Mishra to probe into the matter. The CDMO has filed an FIR at Malkangiri police station against the driver, a pharmacist and an attendant who were in the ambulance.

“It was totally illegal and criminal negligence on the part of the driver. Stringent action will be taken against persons responsible for the incident,” Chakravarthy told reporters, adding the district administration has provided immediate financial assistance to the girl’s parents.

When contacted, Mishra said the act was “inhuman”. “After coming to know the incident, I immediately sent another vehicle which dropped the girl’s family at their village,” he said.

Dana Majhi had to walk about 10 km from Bhawanipatna in Kalahandi district along with his teenage daughter on August 24 carrying his wife’s body on his shoulders after allegedly being denied a hearse by Kalahandi district hospital.

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