Talking to The Statesman, Abhijit Banerjee, SP of Purulia said that already the OC and the civic volunteer have been suspended and departmental proceedings are initiated against them.
Nehru’s ‘wife’ Budhni Mejhan died at her residence near Panchet in Jharkhand on Friday late night and she’s cremated there today. Budhni was invited by the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to switch on the flow of Panchet dam, erected on the Damodar river on 6 December 1959.
But, the ‘honour’ given by the country’s first Prime Minister however had fell on her as a curse as her community never approved that Nehru had offered flower garlands to her during the inauguration! Budhni, a local labourer at the dam construction site was among the group present beside the podium to welcome the Prime Minister.
She’d garlanded the Prime Minister following the instructions by the Damodar Valley Corporation officials and the witnesses said that the Prime Minister also had garlanded her in reciprocation.
Nehru, later had insisted that 15- year-old Budhni, a worker, press the button at the power station to signal the start of operations. She was flanked by Nehru, which offended the tribal community. However, when Budhni returned to her village, Karbona, village elders told her that by garlanding Nehru at the function she had in effect, married him.
Since the Prime Minister was not a Santhal, she was no longer a part of the community. She was told to vacate the village. The young and banished girl however was given shelter by a resident of Panchet, Sudhir Dutta, from whom she had a daughter, born to a destiny of exile like her mother.
In 1962, Budhni was fired from her job at DVC and reduced to doing odd jobs, the officials said. In the 1980s, she travelled to Delhi. She met the then Prime Minister and Nehru’s grandson Rajiv Gandhi, with a request that she wanted to be reinstated at DVC, which Gandhi approved and persuaded. She’d superannuated from her services in 2005 and died at Panchet hospital following a cardiac arrest, the DVC officials said.