At least 14 migrant workers travelling to their home states have been killed in two separate accidents in Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday night and Thursday.
In Guna district in Madhya Pradesh, at least eight migrant labourers were killed and over 40 injured after the truck they were travelling in collided with a bus. Sources reported that the truck was carrying around 70 labourers from Maharashtra to Uttar Pradesh, when it collided head-on with a bus in Guna around 3:00 am on Thursday.
Most of the labourers were natives of Unnao in Uttar Pradesh. According to sources the bus was travelling from Guna to Ahmedabad, but only had a driver and cleaner on it.
In the second accident, six migrant workers walking on a highway in Muzaffarnagar were mowed down by an Uttar Pradesh government bus on Wednesday night. Five people were injured in the incident. Police officials said the victims were travelling from Punjab to Bihar. The bus was empty at the time.
Sources reported that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath announced payment of Rs 2 lakh each to next of kin of the deceased and Rs 50,000 to those injured in the Muzaffarnagar accident. Officers have been asked to send the bodies of the victims to Bihar.
Former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav expressed grief over the Muzaffarnagar accident and asked why there was no Vande Bharat mission for the poor migrants. A spate of accidents involving migrant workers travelling home due to the coronavirus lockdown has been reported in recent weeks.
Last week, a train ran over 16 migrant workers sleeping on rail tracks in Aurangabad.