A day after a freight train ran over 16 workers on railway tracks in Aurangabad district in the early hours of Friday, the collector of Jalna district formed an inquiry committee to probe into the incident.
The inquiry committee, headed by Sub-divisional Officer Keshav Netke, will submit its report within three days. The committee also comprises district labour officer, sub-divisional police officer, tehsildar and general manager of district industries centre.
A group of 20 persons, hailing from different villages in Shahdol and Umaria districts in Madhya Pradesh, who were working with different companies in Jalna, left their residence on Thursday evening. They started walking from Jalna to Bhusawal in Jalgaon (about 150 km) in a hope to board a “Shramik Special” train to return to Madhya Pradesh.
But in the early hours of Friday, they took a halt for food and rest on railway tracks and fell asleep due to exhaustion near Gadhe Jalgaon in Aurangabad district, between Badnapur and Karmad stations, when a goods train ran over them. While 15 persons died on the spot, one died on the way to a hospital. Another person got injured in the incident while three survived as they were sleeping away from the railway tracks.
Nivrutti Gaikwad, resident district collector, Jalna, said, “None of the workers had applied for travel passes on the online registration link provided by the government. Also, they were not registered with our labour camps. They had come in February to work in companies in Jalna, but they were not permanent employees. A contractor was looking after them. They left Jalna without informing the government agencies… An inquiry committee has been formed to probe into the incident.”
Jalna district administration has so far provided 8,989 passes to migrants to return to their native places in other districts and states. It included 3,527 passes to migrants going to Uttar Pradesh, 2,278 to migrants from Bihar, 785 to migrants from Madhya Pradesh, 760 to those from Rajasthan and 300 passes to persons returning to West Bengal.
Superintendent of Police for Aurangabad Rural Jurisdiction, Mokshada Patil, said, “As per our primary probe, all these people were working at a functioning factory in Jalna. They had decided to head home after their family members started frantically asking them to return. As part of our probe, we have traced and plotted their entire path from Jalna to the place of the incident. They had covered 45 km taking various routes and decided to rest after they came across a railway line, which they had decided to take to reach Bhusawal. Having walked for such a long distance, 16 of them dozed off on the tracks.”
Meanwhile, the four survivors in the mishap – Sajjansingh Makhansingh Dhurve, Shivbhan Sinhh, Indarlal Dhurve and Virendra Chain Singh – left for Madhya Pradesh by a train from Aurangabad on Friday night. They reached Madhya Pradesh on Saturday.
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