Coronavirus lockdown | 5 persons on Shramik Special trains die in U.P.

Reasons for the fatalities are not clear, according to police

Updated - May 28, 2020 12:21 am IST

Published - May 27, 2020 11:16 pm IST - LUCKNOW

Final journey:  Officials carrying the body of one of the  passengers found dead on a special train  in Varanasi.

Final journey: Officials carrying the body of one of the passengers found dead on a special train in Varanasi.

Five migrant workers travelling back to their native districts on Shramik Special trains allegedly died of unspecified causes near Kanpur and Varanasi over the last 24 hours during their journey, the police said on Wednesday.

Ram Avadh Chauhan’s body was deboarded at the Kanpur Central station on Tuesday, along with that of another unidentified passenger on the same train from Maharashtra, carrying migrant workers to Gorakhpur.

A third body was recovered at the Kanpur station from another train on Wednesday, said a Railway police inspector.

Two persons arrived dead at the Manduadih station in Varanasi on a train from Mumbai’s LTT on Wednesday. The Superintendent of Police, Government Railway Police, Prayagraj, said Dasrath Prajapati, 30, of Jaunpur and Ram Ratan Goud, 63, of Azamgarh were found dead on the train. The bodies were sent for post-mortem examination.

‘Due to the heat’

According to his family, Ram Avadh Chauhan’s health had started deteriorating due to the heat. “He had taken off his clothes because his body had become very hot,” said Kanhaiya Chauhan, his son.

Also read: 25 migrant workers die in Uttar Pradesh road accident

Working as a mason in Maharashtra’s Kalyan city, Ram Avadh, 45, with his two sons, wife, daughter and mother-in-law, travelled to Jhansi by bus. In Jhansi, they boarded a Gorakhpur-bound special train on Tuesday to their native place Azamgarh. During the journey, Ram Avadh, a diabetic, started feeling uneasy. Mr. Kanhaiya, a science student, said his father wanted the train to stop. The family members claim they pulled the chain, but the train did not stop. They also dialled the Railway helpline number, but allegedly got no help.

At the Kanpur station, the family, travelling in the S13 coach, got off. His father died 10 minutes after Mr. Kanhaiya went in search of help, he said. “He was frothing at the mouth and bleeding from the nose,” Mr. Kanhaiya told The Hindu over the phone.

No food provided

Mr. Kanhaiya alleged that while they received puri sabzi and a pouch of water each on the train from Jhansi, from 1 a.m. on Tuesday, when they had arrived in Jhansi on a bus, till around 11 a.m. on Wednesday, they were not served anything to eat at the Jhansi Paramedical College, where they spent the night. The last proper meal they had was on Monday evening at Guna in Madhya Pradesh.

“He [father] had not taken his medicine for diabetes since two days as he was was not getting regular food,” said Mr. Kanhaiya. He alleged that the doctor arrived to check on his father at the Kanpur station after more than 45 minutes of delay.

Meher Singh, Sub-Inspector who conducted the panchayat nama of the two bodies in Kanpur that arrived in train no. 04175, said Ram Avadh’s family told him that he was a diabetic but did not refer to facing any problems over food during the journey.

The other migrant worker who died on the same train was yet to be identified but a police inspector said he was in his fifties, while the third person who died on Wednesday was also unidentified and aged about 35.

Dasrath Prajapati’s brother-in-law, Panna Lal, told local media in Varanasi that he was physically challenged and suffered from some chronic illness but did not show any signs of deteriorating health in the train. “On Tuesday evening, he slept at 6-7 p.m. after eating some food but his body turned motionless when we tried to wake him up later near Prayagraj,” said Mr. Panna Lal

Mr. Kanhaiya says his father had no work since two and a half months and without money, thought it would best to go back to Azamgarh and do farm work for basic income. “Corona cases are only increasing, not going down, we thought,” said Mr. Kanhaiya, who was anxious to take his father’s body home.

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