Denied Public Distribution System ration after fingerprint mismatch, Jharkhand man dies of hunger
The daughter of the deceased 62-year-old man said he died of hunger as the family had gone entirely without foodgrain for two weeks, a day after Jharkhand CM thrashed reports of two deaths last week.
PATNA: A 62-year-old man is reported to have died of starvation in Jharkhand after his family was allegedly denied rations by a Public Distribution System dealer for two months because his daughter’s fingerprint did not match the one stored in the PDS fingerprint reader.
Reports of Rooplal Marandi’s death broke on Tuesday, a day after Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das trashed reports that two persons had earlier died due to similar reasons in Simdega and Dhanbad districts.
Rooplal, a tribal daily-wage worker from Bhagwanpur village in Deoghar’s Mohanpur block, died on Monday. His daughter, Manodi Marandi, said he died of hunger as the family had gone entirely without foodgrain for two weeks.
“We have not had a single grain of rice at home for weeks. The neighbours lent us some for a few days. My father died because he has not eaten for more than five days,” Manodi told reporters. She said her family had gone without PDS rations in September and October because her fingerprint apparently did not match the one stored in PDS dealer Dharmadev Chaudhury’s device.
Manodi insisted her father had been physically fit and was not ailing, but local officials claimed his death was caused by illness. Similar claims were made after the alleged starvation deaths of Santoshi Kumari, 11, of Simdega on Sept 28 and Baidyanath Ravidas, 50, of Dhanbad on Oct 21.
Mohanpur BDO Ashok Kumar, who visited Manodi’s house along with a doctor, said Rooplal had “died of natural causes” and that there was no need for an autopsy. “Manodi’s fingerprint did not match the one in the fingerprint reader,” said the local PDS dealer, Chaudhary. “The device often does not work because of power failure and network problems. I had asked her to come later, but she did not,” he added.
A probe has been ordered into the denial of PDS foodgrain.