Padma Shri award winner Kamala Pujari is ill, forced to dance by ‘militants’ in hospital

INDIA. Odisha: Kamala Pujari, a esteemed woman who received the Padma Shri award in 2019, is forced to dance in the intensive care unit of a hospital in Cuttack, Odisha. The 71-year-old suffers from kidney disease so she was admitted to hospital.

In a recent viral video, a social worker was seen dancing with Pujari before being discharged from hospital. The social worker is identified as Mamata Behera. Pujari was admitted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack and the state’s chief minister, Naveen Patnaik, wished her a speedy recovery.

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Pujari received the honorary award for promoting organic agriculture and preserving more than 100 native seed varieties. She accused Behera of forcibly dancing with her without her will.

The Padma Shri laureate said: “I don’t know the social activist personally. I was forced to dance next to her when I was discharged from the hospital after the treatment. Although she said no, she made me dance with her and recorded the video.

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She said during a media interaction: “I denied it many times, but she (Behera) didn’t listen. I was sick and tired. It further deteriorated my health.

Meanwhile, the head of the tribal community association, Harish Muduli, has threatened to stage protests in the streets if the state government does not take any necessary action against the social worker. Hospital registrar Dr Abinash Rout said Pujari was admitted to a special cabin outside the ICU. “The woman who allegedly made Pujari dance used to visit him in the private cabin.”

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When asked about the incident, the accused said she had no bad intentions and just wanted to remove “Pujari’s Sloth”.

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