Madhya Pradesh: 3 migrants returning home killed in accident
At least three people in their 20s were killed and five injured after an overcrowded bus returning from Delhi with over 100 migrant labourers and students overturned in Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior on Tuesday, a police officer said.
Gwalior police superintendent Amit Sanghi said the 67-seater bus was overcrowded. “The migrant labourers were returning from Delhi after the lockdown [announcement]. The passengers said they were afraid of returning by foot, so they decided to return on the overcrowded bus.”
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday announced the six-day lockdown until April 26 citing a surge in Covid-19 infections. The Covid-19 cases have risen by close to 600% in the last two weeks and inundated hospitals and triggered a shortage in critical medical supplies in Delhi. He requested migrant workers to stay put as this was a small lockdown and promised to take care of them as part of efforts to avoid their mass exodus like during the nationwide lockdown last year.
Migrant workers began pouring into interstate bus terminals and private bus depots around Anand Vihar and Ghazipur in Delhi and Kaushambi in Ghaziabad after Kejriwal made the announcement.
Scores of migrant workers died in road accidents during the lockdown last year as tens of thousands of them walked and cycled home from big cities after losing their jobs until special buses and trains were arranged for them.
Sanghi said the driver of the bus was allegedly intoxicated when the vehicle met with the accident at Jaurasi Ghati.
“Police have registered a case and were making arrangement to send the passengers to their homes,” he added.
The three passengers, who died in the accident, were identified as Mukesh Dhimar, 26, Matadin Ahirwar, 33, and Jitendra Ahirwar, 22. They are all residents of Tikamgarh district.
Parasram Chander, 23, an injured passenger, said, “We did not want to spend days empty stomach without work so we boarded the bus by paying double the fare.”
(With inputs from Mahesh Shivhare from Gwalior)