16 migrants mowed down by goods train when they were sleeping on the tracks in May 2020
16 migrants mowed down by goods train when they were sleeping on the tracks in May 2020
File Photo

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Finally, the families of 16 deceased people have received death certificates from Maharashtra. The Maharashtra government has taken more than 10 months to issue death certificates to the kin of 16 migrant labourers from Madhya Pradesh who died after being run over by a goods train during the nationwide Covid lockdown on May 8, 2020, in Aurangabad district.

Free Press, on March 24, 2021, had reported that 16 families in Shahdol, Umaria and Katni districts of Madhya Pradesh are awaiting death certificates of their loved ones though 10 months have passed.

Umaria district collector Sanjiv Shrivastrava said certificate has been issued by Maharashtra government and they are being provided to victims’ families. He said the compensation and the monthly widow pension were given to families on the basis of post-mortem reports and other government aided facilities. “Their death certificates did not hinder benefits for which the families will be entitled,” he added.

The delay

It’s, however, still not clear why authorities in Maharashtra took over 10 months to issue the death certificates. The 10 of the deceased hailed from Shahdol district out of whom nine belonged to one village Antauli in Jaisinagar tehsil of the district. The remaining six deceased were from Umaria and Katni districts.

All the 16 men worked in steel factories in Maharashtra’s Jalna town. They lost jobs following lockdown and were returning home on foot on May 7, 2020, after missing the Shramik Special train.

After walking for 40-odd kilometres, they felt tired and sat on track between Karnad and Badnapur railway stations to take rest. They gradually fell asleep. At about 5.22 am, the train ran over them

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Free Press Journal