Indian Railways has again called out the misinformation spread about deaths of migrants travelling through the Shramik Express trains. On Wednesday, May 27, 2020, Jagran published a news claiming that four people died on Shramik Express due to negligence. The report states that the migrant workers onboard Shramik Express have been deprived of food and water and cast aspersions that some of the migrants who died on these trains died due to lack of basic food and water.
Many on social media, including journalists, blamed the death on lack of food and water on Shramik Express.
As per the report, 45 year old Azamgarh Ram Awadh Chauhan travelling from Kalyan in Maharashtra to Jhansi in a bus. When he reached Jhansi railway station, his health deteriorated and after taking medicines given by railways doctor, he boarded Shramik Express train where he passed away near Kanpur station. OpIndia reached out to the Railway Ministry regarding the deaths on Shramik Express trains. Sources in the Railways have confirmed that the deceased had a preexisting blood pressure and blood sugar conditions and was attended by doctors.
Similarly, Jagran mentions one migrant from Surat going to Vaishali. He died on the Sasaram-Patna train on 26 May 2020. Jagran report cites brother of Saroj, the deceased, who claims that Saroj and himself had not eaten since Monday. However, sources in the railways state that the allegation of negligence is unfounded and nothing can be said till the postmortem report is out.
Another migrant worker Jagran talks about is one 52-year-old Lal Babu Kamat. As Jagran report itself mentions, Kamat had suffered paralysis sometime back and when his health deteriorated, he was administered medicines too. Railways sources too confirmed that he was given medicines when his health deteriorated.
Indian Railways, too, took to Twitter to call out the misinformation being spread regards to death on the trains.
Indian Railways reiterated that medical assistance is provided to every passenger in case of emergencies. Moreover, food and water is provided on the Shramik Express trains for all passengers.
भारतीय रेल द्वारा विभिन्न स्टेशनों पर आवश्यकता पड़ने पर यात्रियों को तुरंत चिकित्सा सहायता उपलब्ध कराई जाती है। सभी श्रमिक स्पेशल ट्रेनों में अनिवार्य रूप से खाना और पानी सभी यात्रियों को उपलब्ध कराया जाता है।— Spokesperson Railways (@SpokespersonIR) May 27, 2020
इस खबर में किसी भी रेल अधिकारी का कोई भी पक्ष नहीं लिया गया है।
Deaths of migrants on Shramik Express trains
On Tuesday, Indian Railways had rebutted Dainik Bhaskar report which had claimed that lack of food and water on Shramik Express trains is leading to death of migrant workers. In its report, Bhaskar had claimed that the bus which left for Siwan from Surat on 16th May reached its destination on 25th May and amid all this, many people lost their lives due to the heat, lack of water and food. However, Indian Railways clarified that no such train was delayed by 9 days. Similarly, the cause of death of others onboard cannot be ascertained till the postmortem reports are out.
Similarly, Caravan India journalist Vidya Krishnan was also found spreading misinformation and lies regarding Shramik Express. On Tuesday, Caravan India journalist Vidya Krishnan took to Twitter to claim that 40 Shramik Express trains got lost and that the government ‘forgot’ to feed the passengers which led to death of at least 10 people. Krishnan provided no proof to back this claim of 10 people dying due to hunger because the government ‘forgot’ to feed them. Press Information Bureau’s fact-checking arm took to Twitter to call out her falsehood. The PIB stated that the cause of death cannot be determined without autopsy and proper legal procedure.