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On way home, nine dead in Shramik Specials in 48 hours

Railways officials said many of them were patients returning home after treatment in other cities.

Written by Avishek G Dastidar , Santosh Singh , Asad Rehman | Lucknow, New Delhi, Patna |
Updated: May 28, 2020 8:00:50 am
shramik special trains, shramik special trains timing, migrant trains, indian railway, death in shramik special trains, shramik special trains delayed, shramik special trains crisis, covid india news A railway official provides drinking water to migrants, at a railway station in Jabalpur. (PTI)

At least nine passengers on board Shramik Special trains to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar were found dead in the last 48 hours, officials and relatives of the deceased said on Wednesday.

Five people died during their journey home to UP, and four died on way to Bihar.

A tenth person, Shobhan Kumar, 28, from Janakpur in Nepal, who had reached UP’s Ballia on a Madgaon-Darbangha train Tuesday evening and was admitted to the district hospital after falling ill during journey, died on Wednesday, Additional SP, Ballia, Sanjay Yadav said.

Railways officials said many of them were patients returning home after treatment in other cities.

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On Wednesday, a seconds-long clip showing a toddler trying to wake her mother on a platform in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur station went viral on social media, inviting outrage at the plight of passengers in Shramik Specials. The clip showed the child trying to pull the sheet off his mother’s body in a bid to wake her up.

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His mother, Arvina Khatoon, 26, had died on a train back home.

Khatoon, a resident of Katihar, had boarded the train from Ahmedabad on May 23 with her two sons aged three and one, and was accompanied by her brother-in-law Mohammad Wazir and sister.

Although Arvina had no previous illness, she was anaemic, Wazir told The Indian Express. “We were about to reach Chhapra when she fainted. We sprinkled water on her face, but she died as we crossed Chhapra. We got off at Muzaffarpur. As there was no stretcher available, I carried Arvina’s body and kept it on platform,” he said.

Read | An anguished lullaby, fights for seats, water: 24 hours on a Shramik Special

Asked about food or water shortage on train, he said there was none – “she died all of a sudden…”

Another passenger from Bihar – Uresh Khatun from Katihar – reportedly died in her sleep while on a Surat-Purnia train. The body was deboarded at Mansi, Bihar.

A third death was reported at Bihar’s Danapur. The body of Basisth Mahato, 70, was taken out of the Mumbai-Darbhanga Shramik Special. A heart patient, he was returning with family after treatment in Mumbai, officials said.

On Uresh Khatoon’s death, East Central Railway said in a statement: “She had a heart operation to install a pacemaker on March 22 and was discharged from hospital on May 24. She was found unresponsive when the train was in Begusarai.”

Two men were found dead in a train from Mumbai that pulled into Varanasi’s Manduadih station at 8.20 am on Wednesday. According to Government Railway Police (GRP) in Varanasi, the two have been identified as Dasarath Prajapati, 30, from Jaunpur, and Ramratan Raghunath, 55, from Azamgarh.

Prajapati was physically challenged, the police said. Railways officials said he suffered from kidney ailments, and Raghunath was “battling many illnesses”.

Bhushan Singh, 58, of Saran, Bihar, was found dead in a train that reached Ballia from Surat, Superintendent of Police Devendra Nath said.

Two people were found dead when a Jhansi-Gorakhpur train reached Kanpur on Wednesday. Officials said one of the deceased was identified as Ram Awadh Chauhan (45); identity of the second person has not been established yet.

Railways sources said trains to both Bihar and UP had meal service on route.

In another case, a four-year-old boy, Mohammed Irshaad, died on Monday reportedly because of heat and hunger during the 39-hour journey from Delhi to Muzaffarpur. The boy’s father Pintu Alam had told local media: “My son was asking for food. We had got puri-sabji packet once. There was nothing we could offer him”.

A Railways spokesperson said: “Few deaths have been reported in Shramik Special trains. In most of these cases, it is discovered that those who died are old, sick people and chronic-disease patients who had gone to big cities to get medical treatment…”

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