The National Human Rights Commission on Friday issued a notice to the Odisha government in connection with two reported cases of human rights violations in the state. A spokesperson said, "Right to life of a person under Article 21 of the Constitution of India would also mean that his body is treated with respect, and the last rites are performed with dignity." The state has four weeks to submit a report on the cases, The Indian Express reported.

The notice comes after hospital workers in Odisha's Balasore district had to break a corpse at the hip on Thursday and carry it in a sling because of the lack of an ambulance in the area. The previous day, it was reported that a man, Dana Majhi, in Kalahandi district was forced to carry his wife's body for at least 10 km as he was denied an ambulance by the district hospital.

The NHRC spokesperson noted that the human rights violations took place despite of the Mahaprayana scheme implemented in Odisha to provide "free transportation of bodies from government hospitals to the homes of the deceased". Chief Minister Navin Patnaik had said they had ordered an investigation into the Majhi's case, promising "stringent action". Kalahandi Disctrict Collector Brundha D had said the staff nurse and the guard who had been on duty when Majhi took his wife's body will both face action.