Shiv Sena in its 'Saamna' Editorial on Saturday blamed the Central government for the Aurangabad train accident which claimed lives of 16 migrant workers. According to the Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray-led party, the migrant workers died because the government did not make any arrangements for them during the Coronavirus lockdown period.
"Lockdown has rendered the labourers jobless. They do not have any money. The Central government has not made enough arrangements for these labourers across many states in India. They are bringing people stranded in abroad back home, but nothing for the migrant labourers. People are forced to walk long distances," read the editorial.
In the early hours on Friday, an empty rake of goods wagon ran over 16 migrant workers who were sleeping on the tracks while walking a long distance, near Karmad district in Aurangabad. The workers, who were walking to Bhusawal from Jalna, were returning to Madhya Pradesh, an official at the Karmad police station told news agency PTI. They had been walking along the rail tracks and slept on the rail tracks due to exhaustion, said Chief Public Relations Officer (CPRO) of South Central Railway. They were mowed down by the train at 5.15 am, the official added.
In the view of the accident, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the family members of the deceased. Expressing anguish over the incident, he said, "I am distressed. I am pained at the mishap which took place between the Sambhaji Nagar-Jalna Railway route. I want to tell the migrant workers that you should not get anxious. The state government is with you. We have made arrangements for 5.5-6 lakh migrant workers in the state. We are in discussion with other states regarding the commencement of trains. But there should not be any crowding."