RANCHI: The son of Chitaman Malhar, who allegedly died of hunger on Thursday at Pundaria village of Ramgarh, has claimed that officials who visited the place on Friday forcibly took his thumb impression on a paper without telling him what was written on it. Malhar, 40, allegedly died of starvation after not having had food for two days in his makeshift shelter.
“I did what they told me to do. They asked me how my father died. I told them that he died due to hunger after not having food for two days. They asked me to put my thumb impression. I did the same,” said Videsh Malhar. He denied having any clue about what was written on the paper.
The district administration, on the other hand, claimed that Malhar had died a natural death after falling down while placing a roof on his makeshift shelter.
“Chintaman died a natural death while being taken to hospital after he fell down from the roof of his tent,” said Additional Collector Vijay Kumar Gupta. Chintaman was buried in the locality, he added.
In spite of the fact that the state government has made an autopsy mandatory in the event of such deaths, it was not performed in the case of Chinaman after his son’s consent was obtained to say that he died a natural death.
Right to Food activists who visited Pundaria village on Saturday said that the situation there was critical, with no one living there having a ration card. Assertions by the state government that ration cards will be made available to the last person had failed, said one of the activist, Swati Narayan.