New Delhi: Six migrant workers were killed and 95 others injured in separate road accidents in Uttar Pradesh when they were returning home during the ongoing lockdown to combat the coronavirus outbreak, police said on Friday.
The lockdown, announced on March 24 and made effective with a four-hour notice, has hit migrant labourers particularly hard. First, with no access to food or money, the workers were compelled to walk home from bigger cities, fighting starvation and exhaustion among other dangers. Eventually, when ‘Shramik Special’ trains were announced too, many find themselves on non-train routes and have no recourse but to make the journey home on foot.
More than 400 people have died due to the lockdown alone, a majority of them workers on the way home.
The latest accidents have taken place in Barabanki, Jalaun, Bahraich and Mahoba districts since Thursday evening, they said.
In Barabanki, a group of seven labourers returning from Surat to Bahraich were waiting for conveyance near Badel on the Lucknow-Ayodhya National Highway on Friday morning when a speeding truck hit them, killing three on the spot and injuring the rest.
Those killed have been identified as Shishupal (32), his brother Jeetendra (30) and uncle Mohan Nishad (40), the police said, adding that the four injured have been admitted to a hospital.
The group members were working in a handloom company in Surat in Gujarat and had left for their homes after the factory was shut due to the ongoing lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus outbreak. They reached Barabanki in a truck and were waiting for another vehicle to take them home, the police said.
In a separate accident, two people were killed and 40 injured when a truck carrying them from Mumbai to their homes in Uttar Pradesh fell in a ditch after being hit by another truck in Jalaun district.
According to Jalaun Superintendent of Police Satish Kumar, the truck with 46 migrant labourers, hailing from different districts of Uttar Pradesh, had started its journey from Mumbai four days ago and met with the accident on Thursday night.
The injured have been admitted to Orai Medical College, the police officer said. The deceased have been identified as Sundari, belonging to Chitrakoot district, and Sher Bahadur Gautam of Bhadohi district.
Another truck, also ferrying migrant labourers from Mumbai, overturned after the driver lost control of the vehicle after hitting an electric pole on the Lucknow-Bahraich highway in Bahraich district, police said.
The accident occurred under Chakkarpur Police Station and left 32 people injured, Additional SP Ajay Pratap Singh said.
All the injured were rushed to Sadar Hospital where Ghulam Jilani (28), belonging to Bahraich, succumbed to injuries. All the injured are said to be natives of Bahraich, the SP added.
In Mahoba district’s Panewadi township, a truck carrying migrants from Gujarat to Chhattisgarh overturned injuring 20 people.
The truck carrying about 70 to 80 migrant workers from Gujarat was on its way to Chhattisgarh when it overturned on Jhansi-Mirzapur National Highway, injuring 20 of them, Circle Officer (City) Jatashankar Rao said.
The accident took place in the wee hours on Friday morning , he said adding that all the injured were however out of danger.
On Wednesday night, six migrant workers, who were walking to their homes in Bihar from Punjab, were killed and five others seriously injured when a speeding bus ran over them on the Delhi-Saharanpur highway in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district.
In two separate accidents between Tuesday and Wednesday, four migrant labourers and members of their families – all on their way home in the course of the lockdown – died in Uttar Pradesh.
At least five migrant labourers were killed and 13 others injured when a truck in which they were travelling overturned in Madhya Pradesh’s Narsinghpur district on Saturday.
As many as 16 migrant workers were run over by a goods train while they slept on tracks at Aurangabad in Maharashtra, last week.
(With PTI inputs)