Kin await death certificates of 16 migrant workers crushed under train during lockdown last year

By Express News Service
BHOPAL:  The Maharashtra government has finally issued death certificates of 16 migrant labourers from Madhya Pradesh who were run over by a goods train during the nationwide Covid lockdown on May 8, 2020 in Aurangabad.

Ten of the victims hailed from Shahdol district, out of which nine were from Antauli village in Jaisinagar tehsil. The remaining six were natives of MP’s Umaria and Katni districts.

This newspaper had reported on March 22 how 16 families in MP’s Shahdol, Umaria and Katni districts were still to get the death  certificates of their kin even ten months after the tragedy.

Dilip Pandey,  Jaisinagar sub divisional magistrate,  told TNIE on Thursday that the certificates were issued on March 31.

“Shahdol collector Satyendra Singh has been pursuing the matter for months. Over the last 10 days, he again took up the matter with his counterpart in Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district, after which the death certificates were finally issued on March 31,” he said.

The certificates were handed over to the families in Antauli village of Shahdol district by the CEO of Jaisinagar Janpad Panchayat on Thursday.

Importantly, the death certificates issued by the Satand gram panchayat of Maharashtra’s Aurangabad district mention about the death certificates having been registered on March 30, 2021 and issued a day later.

It’s still not clear why authorities took over 10 months to issue the death certificates, which they did on March 31last year in just 24 hours. 

All the 16 men worked in steel factories in Maharashtra’s  Jalna town and had lost their jobs amid the lock-down.

They had  decided to return home on foot on May 7, 2020 evening, after missing a Shramik Special train.

After walking for 40-odd km, the tired lot sat on the track between Karnad and Badnapur railway stations and eventually went into a deep sleep. At around 5.22 am, the train ran over them.