40-yr-old tribal man, who did not have ration card, dies of ‘hunger’ in Jharkhand

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Ramgarh: The wife of a 40-year-old tribal man, who did not have a ration card, has claimed that her husband had died of hunger in Jharkhand’s Ramgarh district.

Rajendra Birhor, belonging to the primitive Birhor tribe, died on Thursday at Nawadih village in Mandu block, 20 km from Ramgarh.

However, district officials denied it, saying his death was due to “illness”.

Birhor’s wife, Shanti Devi (35), said her husband was suffering from jaundice and her family did not have money to buy food and medicines prescribed by doctors. The family also did not have a ration card for getting subsidised food grain under the public distribution scheme of the state government, Devi said.

A father of six children, Birhor was the only earning member of his family. He was recently admitted to the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences but was discharged following treatment.

The Mandu block development officer (BDO), Manoj Kumar Gupta, who visited Birhor’s house on Thursday, denied that the tribal man died of starvation. He claimed that Birhor died of illness.

The BDO, however, admitted that the family did not have a ration card. He gave Devi foodgrains and Rs 10,000 to the family.

“We are looking into why the family was not enlisted to avail subsidised ration being provided by the government,” he said.

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