New Delhi: The plight of a poor man in Odisha who was made to carry the corpse of his dead wife on his shoulder for more than 10 km prompted the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to issue notice to the Odisha government for gross violation of basic human rights.

Taking place in Bhawanipatna, Majhi was refused any assistance by the district headquarters Hospital in transporting the dead body of his wife who had succumbed to tubetculosis. Majhi then wrapped the body of his wife in a sheet and carried her on his shoulders. The incident was recorded on camera and drew national attention highlighting the plight of poor people in the country.

NHRC also expressed disappointment over another incident in Odisha where a woman’s body was slung on a pole and carried away allegedly due to unavailability of an ambulance. The 80-year-old woman had been run over by a goods train near Soro Railway Station in Balasore district.

“Right to life of a person under Article 21 of the Constitution of India would also mean that his dead body is treated with respect and the last rites are performed with dignity. The above incidents have taken place, reportedly, in spite of there being a scheme “Mahaprayana” offering free transportation of bodies from government hospitals to the residences of the deceased,” said NHRC.