Amid several videos showing the woes of migrant workers returning to Bihar these days, a chilling video went viral on social media on Wednesday. In it, a half-naked baby is seen playfully tugging at a sheet partially covering its dead mother at the Muzaffarpur Railway Station in Bihar. The woman, said to be Arvina Khatun, 35, is seen lying dead on the platform, with two bags stuffed with her belongings kept away from her.
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An older child, with a water bottle in hand, too appears for a moment in the video. “The woman had reached the Muzaffarpur Railway Station on May 25 along with her two children, sister and brother-in-law. She was from Katihar district. Only the doctor can say how she died,” Government Railway Police official Ramakant Upadhayay told local journalists.
A local journalist in Muzaffarpur told The Hindu that the woman and her two small children had arrived by a Shramik Special train on May 25 from Ahmedabad. She collapsed immediately upon reaching the station, possibly due to extreme heat, hunger and dehydration. The woman is said to have boarded the train on May 23.
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Shared on Twitter
Sharing the video on his Twitter handle, Sanjay Yadav, political advisor to Bihar’s Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly Tejashwi Yadav, said in Hindi, “The little child does not know that the cloth-sheet he is playing with is the shroud of his dead mother. She died because she did not have food and water for four days. Who is responsible for such deaths in trains? The Opposition should ask the hard questions or not?”
In another incident, a dead woman was de-boarded at the Mansi Railway Station in the State on Wednesday.
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“Some people took out the dead body of a woman on platform number 3 of Mansi Railway Station from a train coming from Surat in Gujarat to Purnia in Bihar. Her name is Uresh Khatun and she was from Katihar district. The relatives of the dead woman said the woman was suffering from a heart ailment and had surgery on March 22, 2020. When they were returning home, she died near Begusarai in the train, so they de-boarded at Mansi. Further developments will be informed,” the Sonepur division of East Central Railway said in a statement.
Every day, lakhs of migrant workers have been returning to the different districts of Bihar on foot, by trains, on buses, trucks, auto rickshaws, pick-up vans and bicycles — without proper source of food or water. Many are losing their lives to road accidents, hunger, dehydration and exhaustion before they reach home. Of the 27 lakh registered with the government for their return to Bihar, over 12 lakh have returned so far.
Bihar has reported 3,010 COVID-19 positive cases in the State, with 15 deaths and 918 recoveries.