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DC orders autopsy on suspected silicosis victim

Jamshedpur, June 13: The East Singhbhum deputy commissioner, Amitabh Kaushal on Monday ordered for autopsy on body of a 45-year-old man who is suspected to have died due to silicosis on Sunday.

The deceased Ramdas Majhi, who was suffering from tuberculosis and was undergoing treatment at the MGM Medical College and Hospital’s intensive care unit since May 18, died last night.

According to information, Majhi has been working in a quartz crusher plant at Kendudih in Mosabani for five years from 2005 and later fell seriously ill due to some lungs ailments.  A local NGO, Occupational Safety and Health Association of Jharkhand (OSHAJ), had in 2013 taken up the matter and got the suspected silicosis patients for an independent medical examination at a hospital in West Bengal.

The cases of 41 patients, including Ramdas Majhi, had been referred to ESI Hospital at Belur in West Bengal where a panel of doctors had examined the x-ray plates of the patients and had diagnosed them to be struck with silicosis.  But after Majhi’s condition was deteriorated, he was admitted at the MGM Medical College and Hospital where he was being treated as a TB patient.

Ramdas Majhi’s younger brother Ramesh said that they were not lifting the body as the doctors at the medical college hospital were not confirming it to be a case of silicosis death and instead have mentioned as death due to suffering from TB.

“The state government has a provision to pay compensation to the tune of Rs 4 lakh to the dependents of any worker died of silicosis.  But despite my brother died of the silicosis, the doctors at the MGM Medical College and Hospital have not mentioned it in the death report, as a result my brother’s family will be deprive of the compensation package,” said Ramesh.

Amitabh Kaushal confirmed that he has instructed for autopsy of Majhi under medical board. Majhi who was a resident of Dhobni village in Mosabani, is survived by his widow Sita (40) and a 15-year-old son, Shyam.

Samit Kumar Carr, secretary general, OSHAJ, said that Manjhi died because of silicosis. But his treating doctors certified that he died because of TB only.

But he was first diagnosed in a medical camp organized by the OSHAJ on April 29, 2012 by Dr Kunal Kumar Datta and Dr Tapan Kr Mohanty and his X-Ray plate was ILO rated at ESI Belur Hospital West Bengal by a panel doctors headed by Dr. Kunal Kumar Datta.

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