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Jharkhand govt orders probe into alleged starvation death

The Jharkhand government has ordered a probe into the death of an old woman in Giridih district allegedly due to starvation as she did not have a ration card to procure foodgrains, officials said.

The Food and Civil Supplies minister, Saryu Rai has taken serious note of the incident and directed the deputy commissioner of Giridih to investigate the matter through a senior official and to file a detailed report, they said.

According to local media reports, 58-year-old Savitri Devi of Mangargadi village in the district died of alleged starvation as her family was denied foodgrains at the public distribution system (PDS) shops after her ration card was cancelled in 2012. She did not have food for three days before she died on Saturday.

Villagers found her dead on Sunday. Savitri’s husband had passed away 10 years ago and her two sons have migrated to Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra to earn a living, according to the report.

District authorities said a probe has been ordered into the cause of her death and whether or not an application was filed at the block office to avail a ration card.

“Initial findings say the woman was suffering from paralysis and she could have succumbed due to it. A team of senior officers has been sent to the village to conduct a detailed inquiry,” Deputy Development Commissioner (DDC), Mukund Das, who is officiating as Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Giridih, said.

Meanwhile, Ram Prasad Mahto, the head of Chainpur panchayat, confirmed that the family of the deceased neither had a ration card nor an old age pension facility.

In December last year, 67-year-old Etwariya Devi from Sonpurwa village of Garhwa district died of hunger after her family was unable to procure food after the Aadhaar-enabled point of sales (PoS) machine could not authenticate biometrics of her daughter-in-law.

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