Aug 26 – A day after a man was seen walking with his wife’s body slung over his shoulder, another horrifying video has emerged from Odisha. At a hospital in Balasore, a sweeper stands over a dead body, presses it down with his foot and breaks the bones to make it a compact bundle.
Two workers are next seen wrapping the crumpled body in cloth and plastic and slinging it to a bamboo stick before carrying it.
No ambulance was available to take the body of Salamani Barik, a 76-year-old widow, to Balasore, 30 km from Soro town, where she was run over by a train on Wednesday.
The body was taken by the police to the health centre, where it lay for hours on a stretcher and became stiff. Apparently to make it easier to tie up the body and carry it, a worker broke it at the hip and carried it to the railway station about 2 km away.
“They carried my mother in a broken condition. I am helpless to do anything. I pray to the authorities for justice,” said the woman’s son Rabindra Barik.
Odisha is confronting criticism over a man in Kalahandi, Dana Majhi, being forced to walk with his wife’s body, his daughter by his side, for six hours.
Two government schemes are meant to help transport bodies.
Officials said that there was confusion about whether the state-run hospital that Mr Majhi had left is covered by a rule that makes it necessary for hearses to be provided to the poor. Odisha is supposed to have 40 hearse vans at 37 government hospitals across the state. In Kalahandi, there is one hearse van allotted for 2.5 million people.