A 43-year-old man died in Jharkhand’s Jamtara district, following which his family claimed that he succumbed to hunger, an assertion denied by a district official, who said that prima facie it doesn’t seem to be a case of death due to starvation. According to the family, Mahendra Singh, a resident of Sonbad village in Narayanpar police station area, went hungry for three days, as there was no money left to buy food.
His wife, Sushila Devi, said she managed to borrow and cook rice for dinner on Tuesday, but her husband died before he could be given food. The couple has four daughters and a son.
Singh’s nephew, Ramachandra, too, said that the family had been going without food for a while. Anil Soren, the village panchayat head, said that the family did not have a ration card, but grains were provided to them several times in the past.
Of late, grain distribution for free has stopped, Soren said. Sub-divisional officer Sanjay Pandey, however, stated that Sushila Devi had, during an inquiry by officials, said Singh had eaten on Tuesday.
Deputy Commissioner Faiz Ahmed Mumtaz, who had sent two officials to Singh’s home to find out more about the case,said prima facie it appeared that food was prepared at the household. He, however, did not give any further information. Mumtaz said that Panday was “looking into the matter”.
Local BJP leader Virendra Mandal, on learning about the family’s predicaments, said arrangements would be made to provide all necessary facilities to Sushila Devi and her children.