Several incidents of migrant workers going returning to Uttar Prades and Bihar being denied basic services and complaining of inordinate delays and unhygienic conditions on special Shramik trains have emerged in the last few days, leading to protests along the route.
Workers on board one such train that was coming from Bengaluru and was to run till Darbhanga in Bihar alleged that they were not given food or water during the journey which took three-four days, much longer than usual.
When the train halted for several hours at Unnao in UP, some migrant workers resorted to stone pelting and damaged a part of the station as well, forcing railway staff to take cover. The station master suffered minor injuries in the incident.
“There was no stoppage of the train but as the route ahead was not clear, it was halted here. After this, some passengers were agitated and complained that they were in train for three to four days and were not given water and proper food. They were later on pacified and train was sent,” Unnao district magistrate Ravindra Kumar said.
He said orders have been given to station masters to provide water to passengers at all platforms.
Another such incident was reported from Deen Dayal Upadhyay Railway Station, earlier known as Mughalsarai Junction, where migrants alleged that they were not given water during the journey.
Visuals showed dozens of people frantically shoving each other out of the way to grab water bottles kept on the platform floor.
Hungry and exhausted. They earned their living by working daily till they became destitute. The incident was reported from Deen Dayal Upadhyay Station where migrants alleged that they were not given water after which this happened.... Video from @qazifarazahmad pic.twitter.com/maON4cXaHT— Marya Shakil (@maryashakil) May 23, 2020
The video of the incident has gone viral now, raising some serious questions on the arrangement made by the railways for the migrants aboard these Shramik special trains. The train bound for Bihar from Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh had been halted at the station in UP for around 10 hours.
In the third such incident reported from Faizabad railway station, migrants protested after alleging they were not given water by the railway authorities.
The train was coming from Bengaluru and was bound for Chappra in Bihar. However, the police officials managed to pacify the migrants. A video of the incident shared on social media showed police pacifying the agitated migrants and announcing to railway authorities to make water available to the migrants.