Parents of victims who lost their lives to deadly encephalitis in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district have accused the officials of a government hospital of demanding a bribe to hand over the dead bodies of their children.
Parvatia Devi and her husband Maheshwar Paswan were shocked when officials of the Shri Krishna Medical College and Hospital demanded money for the release of the bodies.
"Some parents have to run from pillar to post to arrange money for the release of the dead bodies," a senior doctor at SKMCH told rediff.com over the telephone.
Another doctor was told by family members of the victims that even hospital ambulance drivers had asked them for money.
Incidentally, Health Minister Ashwani Kumar Choubey had visited hospitals in Muzaffarpur earlier this week and announced that the government would bear the expenses of those affected by encephalitis.
State Bharatiya Janata Party [ Images ] president C P Thakur, a former Union health minister, has also assured every possible help to patients of the disease.
Though the disease was identified as encephalitis by the visiting team of health experts, the state government is yet to officially diagnose the disease.
As many as 42 children have been killed by the deadly disease so far. Alarmed by the spread of the disease, the state government had decided to identify the affected villages to carry out intensive spraying of DDT to kill mosquitoes.