15 migrants on way home killed in 24 hrs
Fifteen migrant workers on their way back to their homes were killed in three accidents, one each in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Bihar in the past 24 hours, police officials said.
They added that close to 100 were also injured in road accidents across states on Thursday, as migrant workers continue to seek rides on trucks, cycle, or just walk on the country’s highways in a struggle to return home. The government , starting May 1, announced special trains for migrant workers, but there are still far too few of them and far too many workers wanting to return home. Some of the workers do not have documentation required to travel; others have not registered for the trains or buses being run.
Millions of workers were left without work across cities and towns in India when the lockdown was announced on March 24, resulting in the first wave of workers going back to their villages. Every phase of the extension has seen a new wave -- the lockdown was extended twice, from April 14 to May 3 and then May 3 to May 17.
On May 8, 16 workers sleeping on the tracks were run over by a goods train in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district. On May 9, five workers were killed in Madhya Pradesh’s Narsinghpur district when the truck in which they were travelling hit the central verge of the road.
Late on Wednesday night, six labourers, who were walking from Punjab to their village in Gopalganj, Bihar, were killed and four others were seriously injured when a Uttar Pradesh Road Transport bus ran over them on the Saharanpur-Muzaffarnagar highway.
Dr Vineet Kaushik of Muzaffarnagar district hospital confirmed that 10 people were brought in and six of them were declared dead.
In Madhya Pradesh’s Guna, eight migrant labourers, travelling in a truck from Mumbai to Unnao in Uttar Pradesh, were killed and 55 others injured when a bus rammed into their truck early on Thursday, police said.
Guna district Superintendent of police Tarun Nayak said, “Eight of the labourers were killed on the spot and the injured have been hospitalised. Once discharged, they will be sent to their homes in buses.”
Mahendra Pal , one of the injured workers said” “The truck driver demanded Rs 3,000 per person. However, the amount was to be paid after reaching our destinations.” Another traveler, Mohd Sibu, said, “I asked for money from my family as I had no money left with me. We got the truck at Thane (Maharashtra).”
Madhya Pradesh home minister Narottam Mishra said, “The state has issued instructions to the authorities to make all arrangements for the treatment of labourers.”
In Bihar, a migrant worker was killed and 27 others were injured in an accident in Samastipur district. Police said a bus carrying 44 migrants collided with a truck on Thursday. All the injured were taken to Sadar hospital were two of them are said to be in serious condition .
In Odisha, at least 15 migrant workers were injured, four of them seriously after the minibus in which they were travelling, crashed into a tree in Angul district on Wednesday night, hours after authorities arranged the bus for them. Police officials said they stopped 15 migrants walking towards Purinakote area of Keonjhar district from Palasa in Andhra Pradesh and arranged the bus for them.
In all, the government officials in states have confirmed death of 109 migrant workers on roads during the 50 day lockdown period.
(With inputs from states)