UP: Bus runs over migrant workers, six die, two injured
In a tragic piece of news, six workers died and two were injured after being run over by an over-speeding state transport bus in Uttar Pradesh late on Wednesday night. The migrant workers were walking towards their home in Bihar from Punjab. A case has been registered against the unknown driver, and police are trying to ascertain the details of the victims' families.
Across India, migrant workers have taken on risky paths to reach home after the coronavirus-necessitated lockdown started on March 25. With companies closed and little to no savings with them, the poor workers covered thousands of kilometers on foot. Last week, the Centre started Shramik special trains to ferry them, but that did little to help the troubled workers.
Anil Kaparvan, SHO Kotwali police station, Muzaffarnagar, said they were alerted around 11 pm about the accident on NH-9 Highway. "On reaching the spot, we were told by locals that the people were migrants, which we are in the process of verifying. Six people were declared dead on arrival at the hospital while two have been referred to Meerut," he added.
Police identified the deceased as Harek Singh (51) and his son Vikas (22), Guddu (18), Vasudev (22), Harish (28), and Virendra (28). The ones admitted to Meerut were identified as Sushil and Ramjeet. Reports claimed four of the deceased belong to Gopalganj, one hails from Patna and another from Bhojpur. Eyewitnesses saw blood-stains on the streets and slippers strewn on the roadside.
The SHO said the bus was empty and that the driver is at large. "It is possible it was one of the buses being used in the evacuation process since no other public transport is operating at this point," he added. Yesterday, the Yogi Adityanath-led UP government asked officers to ensure that no worker walks on the road "at any cost".
उप्र के मुजफ्फरनगर बस हादसे में प्रवासी मज़दूरों की दर्दनाक मौत पर गहरा दुख. श्रद्धांजलि!— Akhilesh Yadav (@yadavakhilesh) May 14, 2020
पहले ट्रेन और अब बस हादसा, मज़दूरों की ज़िंदगी इतनी सस्ती क्यों. ‘वंदे भारत मिशन’ में क्या देश की गरीब जनता नहीं आ सकती. इतना ऊपर भी उड़ना ठीक नहीं कि ज़मीन की सच्चाई की उपेक्षा हो जाए.
In a separate incident, at least eight laborers were killed and fifty sustained injuries in Madhya Pradesh last night when the truck they were traveling in collided with a bus in Guna. The migrant workers hatched a ride on the truck to reach their home in Uttar Pradesh from Maharashtra. With modes of transportation suspended, workers are relying on favors from truck drivers.
Another accident was reported from Bihar. At least two died and 12 were injured when a bus and truck collided near Shankar Chowk in Samastipur. The bus was ferrying 32 migrant workers from Muzaffarpur to Katihar, reports ANI. Last week, 16 migrant workers were mowed down by a goods train in Aurangabad. They were walking along the railway track to avoid cops on highway.