Jamshedpur, April 2: The bereaved family of an East Singhbhum block welfare officer (BWO), who was found dead at a weekly market on March 31, had to wait for two days for a post-mortem because a policeman accompanying the body forgot to hand over the inquest summary, mandatory for such a procedure.
The autopsy of Baharagora BWO Mashi Baran Murmu (52), a distant brother-in-law of the chief minister, was finally held late this afternoon after his widow sought Hemant Soren’s intervention.
The incident is a wake-up call for the ruling JMM, which like most parties, is harping on aam aadmi inconveniences to win the Lok Sabha polls.
According to sources, Murmu — a tippler by habit — was found lifeless at the weekly haat near Baharagora block office on Monday night. Yesterday morning, police, suspecting alcohol abuse, sent his body to Ghatshila Subdivisional Hospital for post-mortem. The inquest mentioned the possibility of sunstroke too.
The hospital did not conduct the autopsy on the pretext of lack of expertise and referred the body to MGM Medical College in Dimna, 50km away, where it reached last evening.
Around 2.30pm today, Murmu’s widow and the chief minister’s distant cousin Baurati Soren realised that the post-mortem was still pending because the mortuary had not received the inquest summary, a report on the possible causes of an unnatural death, which is mandatory to conduct an autopsy.
Baurati, who lives in Godda district and came to Ghatshila with her two sons yesterday, learnt that a police chowkidar brought the body from Baharagora to MGM Medical College but returned to the block last night without submitting the inquest summary.
Seeing no quick way out, she contacted her distant cousin Hemant. The chief minister issued instructions to the deputy commissioner’s office following which the post-mortem was carried out around 4pm.
“I had no idea I would have to suffer so much just to get my husband’s body back. An autopsy that should not take more an hour took two days. I had to seek help from the CM who is my cousin,” the bereaved woman told The Telegraph. She conceded that her husband was an alcoholic, but said he had complained of chest pain when he went to visit them in Godda a fortnight ago.
Abhishek Prasad, spokesperson of JMM’s youth wing and a close aide of Hemant, confirmed the chief minister’s intervention. “I personally received her (Baurati’s) call. The CM spoke to her briefly and gave necessary instructions to the East Singhbhum administration,” Prasad said from Ranchi.
An official at MGM’s forensic department said none other than deputy commissioner Amitabh Kaushal enquired about the delay and ordered an early post-mortem.
Baharagora OC Francis Xavier Bara admitted that the chowkidar was at fault. “He should not have returned to Baharagora before the autopsy was over. Another chowkidar had to be sent with the inquest summary this afternoon,” he said.