Hindustan Times (East UP)

Three migrants labourers killed in accident in MP

- Shruti Tomar letters@hindustant­imes.com (With inputs from Mahesh Shivhare from Gwalior)


BHOPAL : At least three people in their 20s were killed and five injured after an overcrowde­d bus returning from Delhi with over 100 migrant labourers and students overturned in Madhya Pradesh’s Gwalior on Tuesday, a police officer said.

Gwalior police superinten­dent Amit Sanghi said the 67-seater bus was overcrowde­d. “The migrant labourers were returning from Delhi after the lockdown [announceme­nt]. The passengers said they were afraid of returning by foot, so they decided to return on the overcrowde­d bus.”

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday announced the six-day lockdown in the national capital until April 26 citing a surge in Covid-19 infections. Thes cases have risen by close to 600% in the last two weeks and inundated hospitals and triggered a shortage in critical medical supplies in Delhi.

Kejriwal requested migrant workers to stay put as this was a small lockdown and promised to take care of them as part of efforts to avoid their mass exodus like during the nationwide lockdown last year.

Migrant workers began pouring into interstate bus terminals and private bus depots around Anand Vihar and Ghazipur in Delhi and Kaushambi in Ghaziabad after Kejriwal made the announceme­nt. The scenes at the terminals were similar to the exodus of people from eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, who gathered in thousands at Anand Vihar after the Centre announced the lockdown in March 2020. Scores of migrant workers died in road accidents during the lockdown last year as tens of thousands of them walked and cycled home from big cities after losing their jobs until special buses and trains were arranged for them.

Sanghi said the driver of the bus was allegedly in an intoxiof cated state when the vehicle met with the accident at Jaurasi Ghati. “Police have registered a case and were making arrangemen­t to send the passengers to their homes,” he added.

The three passengers, who died in the accident, were identified as Mukesh Dhimar, 26, Matadin Ahirwar, 33, and Jitendra Ahirwar, 22. They are all residents of Madhya Pradesh’s Tikamgarh district.

Parasram Chander, 23, an injured passenger, said they panicked after the lockdown announceme­nt in Delhi like it did last year when they faced many difficulti­es in returning home. “We did not want to spend days empty stomach without work so we boarded the bus by paying double the fare.”

Another passenger, Banty Ahirwar, 33, said, they boarded the bus at 2 am in Delhi. “The driver had food and alcohol in Dholpur [Rajasthan]. He also hit a truck near Dholpur. The truck driver tried calling the police, but we requested him to leave the [bus] driver.”

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