Four members of an Assam government fact-finding team, who were sent to a village in Majauli to check if its infrastructure was up to scratch, on Wednesday experienced first hand that it was not.
The officials were rushing to investigate reports that a man from the village was forced to carry his brother’s body on a cycle as an ambulance could not cross the makeshift bamboo bridge that villagers are forced to use every day. The bridge, it appears, stayed true to its description and crumbled as the team crossed it, leaving them in the Lohit river.
Though the state’s Director of Health Services Rathin Bhuyan managed to stay on the ground, Additional Deputy Commissioner Naren Das and Joint Director of Health Services Tankeswar Das were injured, The Sentinel reported. Four others who were accompanying the officials fell into deep water and had to be rescued.
The team then tried to reach the village by boat, but ended up marooned on the river for a few hours after it “developed a technical snag”, according to the Assam daily. Villagers said the team’s plight aptly demonstrated the struggles they face every day.
On Tuesday, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who represents the Majauli constituency, had ordered an inquiry after local news channels telecast images of a man carrying Dimple Das’ body, after he died on Monday night.