New Delhi: 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.
The incident took place on the intervening night of Wednesday and Thursday, between Ghalauli check-post and Rohana Toll Plaza, senior superintendent of police Abhishek Yadav told PTI.
The bus driver has been arrested, the SSP said.
Locals suspect that the driver was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident.
Two of the deceased persons were identified as Bijender, 25, and Harsh, 20. The rest were yet to be identified, police said. The injured – Sushil, Nathu Saini, Pawan Saini, Pramod and Ramji Rai – were rushed to a hospital.
Ever since the government announced a nationwide lockdown to stem the spread of COVID-19, without adequate measures to help migrant workers and daily-wagers survive, there has been an exodus from various cities across the country to the villages, as workers try to make their way to their families. A large number of workers have lost their lives in the process, due to exhaustion and accidents.
On May 9, five migrant labourers were killed and 13 others injured when a truck in which they were travelling overturned in Madhya Pradesh’s Narsinghpur district. Two days before that, 16 migrant workers were run over by a goods train while they slept on tracks Aurangabad, Maharashtra.
The stringent lockdown imposed in India for nearly two months now has led to a number of non-coronavirus deaths. Statistics put together by activists suggest more than 400 people have died because of the lockdown. Of them, 75 people died in rail or road accidents while walking to their homes – the only mode of travel available as public transport had been suspended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, which gave notice of only four hours before the first lockdown came into effect.
(With PTI inputs)