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Rajasthan villager alleges children died of hunger

Sunday September 25, 2011 10:36:57 AM, IANS

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Jaipur: A labourer in Rajasthan's Bhilwara district Saturday alleged his two daughters died of hunger, while two other children are admitted to a hospital in serious condition. Authorities have denied his claim but are investigating the deaths.

The incident took place in Bheem Nagar village of Bhilwara, some 250 km from here.

Though, the district administration has denied the allegations, medical teams went door-to-door in the village, mostly inhabited by people from a tribal community, and took blood samples to check their health.

"Ramlal Bheel, 30, listed in the Below Poverty Line (BPL) group, claims his one-year-old daughter Manju died Sep 1 while another daughter, Geeta, 12, died Thursday despite the fact that they did not have any illness," an official, who did not want to be identified, told IANS.

Ramlal says he himself was bed-ridden due to some disease and was unable to go to work.

"He claims that he could not provide food to his four children. The other two, Maya, 1, and Kailash, 4, were admitted to a hospital by some activists of an NGO Friday when they were also reported ill. He claims that food items, which are provided to BPL families under a government scheme, were not being distributed in the village, so he was unable to avail of them also," said the official.

District Collector Onkar Singh and other senior administrative officials rushed to the village to take stock of the situation Saturday.

"It is unlikely that the deaths were due to hunger. However, a probe has been ordered," said the official.

The deaths have stirred a fresh controversy in the state as several people belonging to Sahariya tribe had died of hunger in Baran district of the state in 2002 and 2003.







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