JAMSHEDPUR: The Jharkhand government has sent a three-member team to West Singhbhum on Saturday to probe media report of the death of a tribal woman allegedly due to starvation, state minister Saryu Roy said.
The three team members are a government doctor, the block development officer of the concerned block and a senior official of the district administration, he said.
A report appearing in a local daily on Saturday said a 65-year-old woman who used to stay alone at Porhat in Sonua block of the district and died allegedly due to starvation on December 6.
It said the dead person had a ration card and was the beneficiary of the state's old age pension scheme but did not get the benefits for the past three months.
"I have asked the district administration to convince the villagers and exhume the body to conduct autopsy to confirm the exact cause of death," Roy said.
The team will submit its report within 24-hours, the minister said adding that the department would order a high-level inquiry if the report was not satisfactory.
The probe team would look into it and no person, including the concerned ration dealer would be spared if found guilty, he said.
Roy said the mukhias (village heads) have an emergency fund of Rs 10,000 to meet any requirement, particularly starvation-like situations and directed the probe team to find out whether it was utilised in this instance.
It is the responsibility of the concerned officials to deliver foodgrain at the doorsteps of a beneficiary if the person lives alone, he said.
Recently, the department has made post-mortem mandatory if anyone died of starvation in the state.