On Friday, lawyer Alakh Alok Srivastava filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court over 16 migrant workers being run over by a train in Aurangabad. Mentioning that these migrants were reportedly walking from Jalna to their hometowns in the Shahdol and Umaria districts of Madhya Pradesh, the petitioner contended they slept on the Railway tracks after walking for several kilometers. He pointed out that the Centre had however made a statement before the apex court that no migrant was walking on foot across India as on 11 am of March 31, 2020.
Contending that the lack of appropriate action by the Union government might lead to the loss of more migrant workers' lives, he urged the SC to show cause the former as to why concrete action was not taken to avert the incidents like the Aurangabad mishap. He also called upon the SC to issue an order to the Centre, whereby the District Magistrates of each district shall be made responsible for identifying and shifting the moving migrant workers to the nearest shelter home. Moreover, Srivastava opined that free transportation to their native places should be arranged.
The unfortunate incident happened at about 5.22 am on Friday when a group of 19 migrant workers were hit by a goods train between the Badnapur and Karmad stations of the Nanded division. While 14 persons died on the spot, two others succumbed to their injuries subsequently. The injured persons are being treated at the Aurangabad Civil Hospital.
As per a South Central Railway press release, the Loco Pilot of the train honked the horn and made all possible efforts to stop the train. Ram Kripal- the Commissioner of Railway Safety, South Central circle shall conduct an "independent inquiry" into the incident. Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his anguish over the mishap and spoke to Railways Minister Piyush Goyal in this regard. Meanwhile, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray announced an ex-gratia of Rs.5 lakh to the kin of the deceased persons.