25 migrant labourers returning from Rajasthan had died and several others were injured in a tragic road accident in Mihauli, Auraiya in UP early on Saturday morning on 16 May.
The injured labourers, speaking to the media, have told the tales of their misery. As per reports, the injured labourers has told media that a group of 40 labourers working in stone quarries have decided to return to their native places in West Bengal because they were out of jobs due to the lockdown and were facing difficulties in arranging food.
The labourers had reportedly reached Rajasthan’s Bharatpur in a bus on Friday. In Bharatpur, as per the allegations by the workers, the Rajasthan police stopped them and prevented them from going any further.
The labourers have accused that the police in Bharatpur was not allowing them to travel further and only agreed to allow after a lot of pleading. However, they did not allow them to continue in that bus. The migrant workers have stated that the police had forced them to ride on a cargo-loaded truck.
Police investigation into the accident
The police in UP have launched an investigation into the truck accident that claimed 25 lives and injured several other migrant workers. As per a report in Amar Ujala, investigating officer Mohit Agarwal has informed that the migrant workers from several districts in Rajasthan were forced to disembark from the bus in Bharatpur. A team of Bharatpur police had ordered them to ride on a cargo-loaded truck.
Initiating investigation into the accident, the UP police have stated that since ferrying migrant workers in trucks has been prohibited, the truck drivers will also be held accountable. The police have informed that the police of all the districts where the truck has travelled through have shown negligence because ferrying migrant workers in trucks is not allowed.
Some other migrant workers who have suffered injuries have also informed that they had no other way but to travel in the cargo-loaded truck because other vehicles were not available and they were forced to walk.
Gehlot praises his own government
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot has, however, praised his own government over handling the migrant workers crisis. Speaking to media, Gehlot has stated that instead of criticising Rahul Gandhi, the central government should have held talks with the opposition leaders over what help is needed for arranging facilities for migrant workers.
Instead of criticising Rahul Gandhi, Centre should have held talks with opposition on what help they need for arranging facilities for migrant workers. It’ll take 6-8 months if migrants travel by train,we should arrange vehicles for them: Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot (17.05.2020) pic.twitter.com/YZIVLhE7U6— ANI (@ANI) May 17, 2020
Gehlot claimed that it will take ‘6 to 8 months’ if migrant workers travel by train. He said that the governments should arrange vehicles for them.