For once, no one—not even the Opposition—is calling it ‘starvation deaths’. A week after three members of an adivasi family died after eating a cake made of mango kernel gruel at Mainapadar village in Jharigaon block of Odisha’s Nabarangpur district, the worst that former Nabarangpur MP Pradeep Majhi could accuse the Naveen Patnaik government of was “failure to ensure development”.
Four members of Arjun Santa’s family started vomiting on the night of August 20. His wife Sudhamani (30), sister Namita (15) and sister-in-law Pramila (28) died within hours of each other, while his six-year-old son Prakash survived what Nabarangpur chief district medical officer Sivarani Mishra called a case of ‘food poisoning’. Arjun and his brother were not at home when the rest of the family ate the mango kernel preparation.