KOLKATA: A group of 34 stranded migrants and their families, who hired a bus to return to Bengal from Maharashtra, had to travel with the body of one of their co-passengers for over 20 hours.
According to reports, the deceased developed high fever and respiratory problem after the bus entered Andhra Pradesh-Odisha border and within an hour he died.
The passengers sought help from Odisha police at two places but they were reportedly not entertained. The policemen of the neighbouring state allegedly told the migrants to leave the state with the body immediately.
“I was sitting with my two-year-old daughter in front of the seat where the body was lying. Every single minute was like hours. Most of the time, I kept my eyes close. It was nightmarish journey,’’ said Sarmistha Bera, one of the migrants.
The group from Pingla in West Midnapore district had hired a bus to return home on Monday.
“As the bus crossed Andhra Pradesh-Odisha border, Sudarshan Mondal started suffering from high fever and respiratory problem. On seeing him gasping, we stopped near a police check-post. We informed the policemen about Sudarshan’s condition and requested them to admit him to a hospital. But the police asked us to leave immediately with ailing Sudarshan, who was a housekeeping staff of a hospital in Mumbai,” said Dibyendu Maity.
Maity said after a few minutes Sudarshan became silent.
“His body didn’t move. We realised he passed away. We spotted policemen on the road and stopped the bus. We again sought help but they, too, asked us to leave the state as soon as possible with the body of Sudarshan,’’ said Maity.