Father treks 14 km with daughter’s body tied to cycle

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

BHOPAL - In a shocking instance of absolute helplessness, a poor tribal farmer in Madhya Pradesh had to trek 14 kilometres with his teenage daughter’s body on a makeshift bier tied to his bicycle to get her autopsy done.

The local police in his village had told the farmer it was his responsibility to take the body for the autopsy because there were no vehicles in the place.

Gokul Gond, a tribal farmer from Dudhmunia village, was Monday yet to come to terms with the death of his 16-year-old daughter Sohaga, who had reportedly consumed poison Saturday.

The local police made the report, told Gond to get the autopsy done and left.

Gond was helpless. Swallowing his grief, the father tied his daughter’s body to a plank fitted to his cycle, covered it with a blanket and began the 14-kilometre trek to Anuppur, the district headquarters.

The issue came to the notice of local Congress legislator Bisahulal Singh, who told the district collector, Kavindra Kivayat, to help Gond. A hearse was arranged to take Sohaga’s body back to the village.

The incident has angered human rights activists.

“The incident shows how the tribals of Madhya Pradesh live. In most the health care system has collapsed,” Anurag Modi, who runs Sramik Adivasi Sangathan, told IANS.

“Cities have their ambulances with cardiac facilities available round the clock. There is not even a simple ambulance in tribal villages. And the police are insensitive. They do what they did to Gond. We will raise the issue before the human rights commission and the high court,” he said.

“If the incident did not come to my notice, the man would have had to trek back thesame way. This is inhuman. I have demanded police officials to take action on the issue,” Bisahulal Singh told IANS.

“How could a father who had lost his daughter be told to trek with her dead body on a bicycle,” the legislator asked.

However, police officials defended their subordinate’s act.

“I admit it was improper on the part of the police. But they had no choice because no vehicle was available and the village does not have mobile phone connectivity,” said sub-divisional police officer Manoj Kedia.

Filed under: Immigration

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