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Family cites ‘starvation’ in Jharkhand rickshaw puller’s death

PTI | Dhanbad (Jharkhand |

The death of a rickshaw puller at Jharia in Dhanbad has whipped up a fresh controversy after family members alleged that the man died of hunger while the district administration said it was due to a prolonged illness.

Rickshaw puller Baijnath Ravidas (45) died at his Tarabagan house in Jharia on Friday evening. After completing the last rites on Saturday, his wife Parwati Devi alleged that he died of hunger as he had not eaten for the past two days.

The family didn’t even have any money to buy medicines.

“The oven in my house was not ignited for the last two days and he (Baijnath) succumbed to hunger,” Parwati told reporters at a press conference today.

Baijnath left behind five children including three sons — Ravi (20), Suraj (14), Neeraj (10) — and two daughters Suman (16) and Sulekha (8).

After coming to know about the incident via social media, Dhanbad Deputy Commissioner A Dodde presented the family Rs 20,000 and assured to provide 50 kg of food grains immediately.

He had been bedridden for the last one month. After reports of his death, a probe was conducted. It was found that he died of illness and not hunger,” Dodde said.

The family members said Baijnath had applied for ration card in the second week of October. However, all the family members have Aadhar Card.

Baijnath’s neighbours said he had breathing problem and was bedridden for several days and a local doctor had prescribed medicines for him.

Baijnath’s wife works as a domestic help and their elder son Ravi lives with his maternal grandfather in Gaya, while three children study in government school.

A district administration official, however, claimed that Baijnath’s family had officially informed that he had died of illness.

The official also said that post-mortem examination could not be carried out since the family members performed the last rites without informing the authorities.