Request for travel passes went unheeded: Aurangabad tragedy survivor

After not getting passes and desperate to return to their families, the migrant labourers working at factories in Jalna, Maharashtra had left on foot at 7 pm on Thursday.

Published: 09th May 2020 02:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th May 2020 11:09 AM   |  A+A-

These migrants were resting at train track after walking a day from Jalna to Aurangabad. (Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

BHOPAL: Virendra Singh, an accident survivor in the Aurangabad tragedy, claimed that he and fellow migrant labourers had applied for passes a week ago to enter their village in Madhya Pradesh, but did not receive any response from the Umaria administration.

“We had applied for passes to our home district Umaria for returning to our families in our villages. But forget about getting passes, we didn’t get any response, despite having applied for it a week back,” Singh told reporters.

After not getting passes and desperate to return to their families, the migrant labourers working at factories in Jalna, Maharashtra had left on foot at 7 pm on Thursday.

Singh escaped unhurt as he was not resting on rail tracks unlike 16 others who were crushed by a goods train.

When this newspaper contacted Umaria collector Swarochish Somvanshi, he said the administration would look into the claim and added that “whatever requests were made from other states for passes, were forwarded to the top officials in Bhopal who coordinating with other states to bring back labourers.”

Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh each to the families of the 16 deceased labourers and Rs 1 lakh assistance to those injured.

Tribal welfare minister Meena Singh, who is the BJP MLA from Umaria district, flew to Aurangabad for meeting those injured in the accident.

All the 16 bodies will brought via a special trainto the villages of the victims in Umaria, Shahdol and Katni districts.

Former chief minister and senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh sought an impartial probe into the entire tragedy.

“Had the MP government registered those migrant labourers? If yes, then what efforts were made to bring them back. CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan owes a reply and should be ashamed. Instead of daily giving statements, the CM needs to do something concrete,” he tweeted.

‘Give relief from PM’s fund’

The Centre should give an ex gratia of Rs 50 lakh for families of migrant workers run over by a train near Aurangabad and those injured from PM-CARES fund, said  National Campaign for Migrant Workers.

The coalition wrote that it had earlier said that a humanitarian disaster was impending with scarcity of food and acute mental stress faced by workers.

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