BHUBANESWAR: The opposition Congress and BJP on Saturday demanded the constitution of a House committee to probe the case of Dana Majhi, who walked about 10 km with his wife's body on his shoulders after he was allegedly denied a hearse in Odisha.
The demand of the opposition comes a day after the state government disputed the claim of Dana Majhi that he was denied a hearse or ambulance to take his dead wife to his village in Kalahandi district.
The opposition raised the matter during the zero hour in the state Assembly on Saturday.
"It's incorrect that Dana Majhi's wife was not declared dead and he was not denied a hearse by the hospital authority. Therefore, the demand for a House committee probe into the Dana Majhi case is fully justified," said leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra.
An impartial probe is necessary to ascertain the truth, he added.
Congress chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati sought a ruling from Speaker Niranjan Pujari to constitute a House committee to inquire into the matter.
"The statement of the Health Minister that Dana Majhi did not ask for a hearse is completely false," said Bahinipati.
BJP legislator Pradeep Purohit said a House committee probe could expose the lie of the state government in the Dana Majhi case.
However, Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said this was just a preliminary report.
"The Chief District Medical Officer (CDMO)'s report is a preliminary report. Inquiry is going on. We have already sacked a staff nurse and terminated a security agency. We would take strict action if anyone is found guilty," said the minister.
Notably, the minister had on Friday rejected the claim of Dana Majhi that he was denied a hearse or ambulance to take his dead wife to his village in Kalahandi district.
"As stated by the patients and their attendants in that ward, Dana Majhi took the patient without anybody's notice, as they were asleep at night," said the report of CDMO.
The report also claimed that the patient was not declared dead.
"Sri Dana Majhi had never sought for any help, ambulance or a hearse, from any of the hospital staff that night. In case of poor patients, if approached, transportation arrangement is made from CMRF/RKS or Red Cross funds," said the report.
"But in the case of Sri Dana Majhi, neither himself nor anybody else had sought for any help or assistance," it stated.