Kin of Adivasi man struck by lightning forced to pay bribe for post-mortem


Madhya Pradesh’s Panna district has continued to witness incidents of discrimination and inhumanity towards the Adivasi community in the region. Revelations from a recent incident have brought shocking details to light. According to reports, an Adivasi man named Prahlad, aged 28, a resident of Gram Khabri Kalda Thana area Saleha, passed away on 8 September after he was struck by lightning.
He was brought to the Primary Health Center Kalda for treatment, where he was declared dead on arrival. After his death, his kin were informed that they had to pay to get a post-mortem done-a result of the district Health Department’s mismanagement.
The family waited from 9 am in the morning to 2:30 pm in the afternoon for a sweeper to arrive who they then paid Rs 1,500 as a bribe. The family of the deceased has alleged that they complained about this mismanagement to Panna Collector Harjinder Singh telephonically, but his response was to talk solely through messages.
They provided information in the message, but they did not receive any assistance, nor did they receive a discount of Rs 1,500 for the bribe amount that was paid. In this case, an alleged contractor, Roop Lal Bagri, who assists in post-mortems, revealed that he does not receive any money from the district administration for this work.
He does not even have petrol for his vehicle, so he charges Rs 1,500 for each post-mortem conducted.
This incident has exposed the Panna administration’s insensitivity towards the Adivasi community. It also highlights the poor healthcare services in Adivasi-dominant areas and the prevalence of corruption in the area.
When information was sought from the Panna Collector in this matter, he said that following an investigation, a press note would be issued by the Public Relations Department. Meanwhile, Dr VS Upadhyay, Chief Medical and Health Officer (CMHO) of Panna district mentioned that a notice had been issued to BMO Saleha for information regarding the case. Action will be taken pending an investigation.