Close to 200 migrant workers trying to return home boarded an empty train that had reached Igatpuri from Mumbai. According to sources, the empty rake was being moved to Bhusawal division but had to be turned back to Mumbai after the incident.
The incident took place around 1 pm when the empty rake, which was carrying pantry staff and contractual workers of Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), started from Mumbai. As it pushed into Igatpuri, hundreds of migrant workers, who had been informed that a train was heading to Gorakhpur, had reached the station. Senior officials from the Central Railway (CR) said, “The rake was being moved to Bhusawal division before being sent to Gorakhpur.”
One of the many workers who boarded the train from Igatpuri was 19-year-old Sunil Nishad, who hails from Basti, and had received a call from a friend telling him that a train was on its way to Igatpuri. “We came to the station thinking that it was heading to Gorakhpur but then we had to deboard at Dadar after it returned to Mumbai. It had Kashi Express written on it,” said Nishad, who works as a carpenter in Igatpuri where he has been provided with accommodation and food.
While Nishad pointed out that the train had Kashi Express written on it, Shivaji Sutar, chief public relations officer of the CR, said the train Kashi Express had LTT-Gorakhpur Express written on it that created confusion that it was headed to Gorakhpur. Officials from the CR also pointed out that the empty rakes were causing problems as there were not enough siding space to stable them and so they were being moved to a stabling facility in Igatpuri. “The movement of the train was to a siding facility and we would request people not to board such trains. There are clear directives that no trains will move until April 14,” Sutar said. Officials said the train was brought back to Mumbai to ensure the safety of those who were on board.
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