The Railways has suspended a senior officer posted in Uttar Pradesh’s Firozabad after a video of him went viral on social media showing him throwing biscuits at some passengers travelling in the ‘Shramik Special’ train. He along with his team was caught on camera shouting expletives at the migrants, according to media reports.
Some Railways’ employees can be seen in the video recording giving packets of biscuits to the passengers sitting in the train, at a station in Western UP’s Firozabad.
According to NDTV report, DK Dixit, the chief inspector of ticket was leading the group of officials who were throwing biscuits at the passengers of a Shramik special train. They can been hurling abuses and scorning at them.
“The biscuits are being distributed because it’s Mr Dikshit’s birthday,” said one Railways employee to the passengers in the video.
In the video, some passengers can be seen asking for biscuit packets, one of the officers told them, “Abhi to diya. Baant ke khao (We just gave you some. Share and eat).”
The video was firstly shared in one of the local Railways officers’ WhatsApp group. Later, it went viral making its way on the social media.
“Strict disciplinary action has been taken again these railway employees including the suspension of the CIT DK Dixit,” the Railways tweeted after the video sparked outrage among people.
The Supreme Court too on Thursday issued interim orders regarding the migrant crisis across the country, two days after it took suo motu cognizance of problems faced by the migrants.
Dictating the orders, the apex court had said that no train or bus fare should be charged from migrants travelling back to their homes.
It directed that the migrant workers should be provided food by the concerned state and UT at places. During train journey, originating states will have to provide meal and water.
While the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had send notices to the Union Home Secretary, the Railways and the governments of Gujarat and Bihar over hardships faced by migrants onboard trains due to delay in services and lack of food and water allegedly leading to sickness and death of some of them.
The Commission has observed that the contents of the media reports, if true, amount to gross violations of human rights. The aggrieved families have suffered irrevocable loss, it said.
In a statement, the NHRC observed that the “state has failed to protect the lives of the poor labourers onboard the trains”.
The lockdown imposed since March 25 has been extremely difficult for migrants as they were left stranded in different parts of the country without any source of livelihood and food.
As extreme heat, hunger and dehydration add to the woes of returning migrant workers, at least 10 passengers have been found dead in ‘Shramik Special’ trains since Monday and they included a woman whose toddler son was seen trying to wake her up in a heart wrenching scene at a railway platform in Bihar.
While, in yet another shocking incident amidst the migrant crisis, the body of a 38-year-old migrant worker was reportedly discovered in the toilet of a Shramik Special train at Uttar Pradesh’s Jhansi Railway Station on Thursday evening.
It is presumed that the man died days ago, while the train completed a round-trip trip, before the body being discovered by railway workers while sanitising the coaches.
While a few deaths on board the non-air conditioned trains were also reported earlier after they were launched on May 1 to ferry migrant labourers to their home states, the Railways on Wednesday said most of the deceased had pre-existing health conditions.
Nine of the deaths on different trains heading to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar occurred since Monday but were reported by the Railways and civil authorities in the two states on Wednesday.
A video about the toddler son tweeted by Sanjay Yadav, an aide to RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav, and which has gone viral, shows the child walking unsteadily up to his mother’s body, tugging at the blanket placed over her, and when failing to wake her up, covering his own head with it.
As the mother, who was identified as Uresh Khatoon(35), still lay motionless, he wobbles away from her, announcements continuing in the background about the arrival and departure of trains at Muzaffarpur that would bring in tens of thousands of jobless migrant workers hit by coronavirus lockdown to Bihar.
Amid the nationwide lockdown, thousands of daily wagers and other migrants have undertaken epic journeys to reach home — walking, cycling and hitching rides when they could — in the absence of any public transport.
The unprecedented move to stem the spread of COVID-19 triggered possibly the biggest movement of people since Partition.