Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Sunday criticised his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Yogi Adityanath for the “inhuman treatment” meted out to migrant workers who died in a road accident in Auraiya district on Saturday.
Also read: Coronavirus lockdown | Priyanka urges U.P. CM to allow Congress ferry migrants back home
Taking exception to the bodies being transported by trucks, Mr. Soren wrote on Twitter: “Heartless to see @UPGovt led by @myogiadityanath ji could not even arrange for ambulance to transport the bodies of migrant workers to their families. I request @NitishKumarji to arrange ambulance for remaining journey to Bokaro and accord them some dignity in death.”
However, he deleted the tweet later and toned down his criticism. “This inhumane treatment of our migrant workers could possibly be avoided. I request @UPGovt and Office of @NitishKumarji to arrange suitable transportation of the deceased bodies till Jharkhand border and we will ensure adequate dignified arrangements to their homes in Bokaro,” he tweeted again.
Mr. Soren announced ₹4 lakh in ex gratia each to the families of all 11 persons killed and ₹50,000 to those injured.
On Saturday, 25 migrant workers, including 11 from Jharkhand, were killed when a trailer they were travelling in rammed a lorry near Auraiya in Uttar Pradesh.
Also read: Akhilesh Yadav calls Auraiya accident ‘indescribable sadness’; offers financial aid
Mr. Soren asked the Bokaro Deputy Commissioner and the police to give medical treatment to the injured as soon as they entered the State. Officials were asked to take the bodies of the dead to their homes with dignity.
Asked about the bodies being transported by trucks, Suniti, Auraiya Superintendent of Police, said different vehicles, in some cases ambulances and trucks, were arranged to transport the bodies. Referring to the photos of a truck in which the bodies of some victims were dumped, the officer said the persons seen along with the bodies were those who had been discharged after treatment.
The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and the Bokaro district administration gave rice worth ₹25,000 to the families of the deceased.
Also read: Will migrant workers benefit from the Centre’s measures?
On May 15, Mr. Soren directed the district administrations and the police to make sure that any person belonging to Jharkhand or any other State did not walk to their destinations in the State. “All officials with a humane approach should take care of these people and conduct medical tests,” he said.
He asked officials to send migrants by bus and other vehicles to their villages. “With regards to migrant workers of other States, officials should establish contact with the nodal officers of their States and arrange transport for them,” he said. “It is our duty to ensure that no migrant worker faces hardship in Jharkhand.”