A 28-year-old migrant labourer who was on his way from New Delhi to Bihar’s Khagaria district died on Friday in Uttar Pradesh’s Shahjahanpur district under the Kotwali police station area. Dharmveer Kumar (28), who worked as a labourer in Delhi, was travelling on bicycle. He was travelling with six other migrants, who were also headed to Bihar on bicycles. His test report for coronavirus, which came on Saturday, turned out to be negative.
The distance between Delhi and Khagaria is nearly 1,200 km, while Shahjahanpur is around 350 km from the national capital, which the labourers had covered pedalling on their bicycles. Among the six labourers traveling with Kumar was his cousin Karan Kumar, who used to work with him in Delhi.
Circle Officer (City) Praveen Yadav said the the 28-year-old died near the toll plaza on the Delhi-Bareilly Highway on Friday. “They had halted for the night at the toll plaza. They slept at night, having cycled through the day. On Friday morning, one of the seven did not wake up. The others informed the police,” said Yadav. He added, “For food, they were relying on foodgrains being distributed by NGOs on the highways.” The seven migrant labourers, who are aged between 25 and 35 years, worked in Delhi’s Shakur Basti area as dailywage labourers. Others in the group told police that they left on their bicycles because they ran out of food and money in Delhi.
SHO, Kotwali, Pravesh Kumar said, “The other six have been quarantined at the district hospital. Officials at the district hospital said Dharmveer Kumar was declared dead on arrival. Shahjahanpur Chief Medical Officer R K Gupta said Kumar tested negative for coronavirus. “He died on Friday morning. As a precaution, we sent his sample for testing. His report came on Saturday morning and he has tested negative. His body has been kept at the district hospital’s mortuary. If he had tested positive for the virus, we would have sent the samples of the other six too, but that won’t be required now,” said Gupta.
The medical officer at the district hospital, Dr Mohammad Faisal, who conducted the post-mortem, said, “He had a lung disease from before due to which he suffered breathlessness because of exhaustion and continuous cycling. He died due to septic shock.”
“After Kumar tested negative, we can now release the other six from quarantine centre. We will hand them over to district officials who will take them to a shelter and maybe, later send them to Bihar,” said a senior official.
Additional DM (Administration) Ram Sewak Dwivedi said arrangements to send Kumar’s body to Bihar would be made. “The district administration will send his body to his district in Bihar,” Dwivedi said on Saturday.
The state government announced that as of Friday, it has brought back 4 lakh labourers from Delhi and 12,000 from Haryana. The state also said that it is ensuring the safe passage of migrants in a phased manner from other states. The government on Friday said it had completely sealed the borders of the state and that no one would be allowed to enter without permission.
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