In a horrifying accident, 15 migrant labourers, who hailed from Rajasthan, were run over by a truck in Surat in Gujarat. 12 of them, including a one year old girl were killed on the spot in the mishap that took place in the early hours of Tuesday January 19. According to a report in the Indian Express, three more died in hospital and six more have been injured. The migrant labourers were sleeping by the roadside, when they were crushed to death by a dumper truck that ran over them. According to early news reports the truck’s driver allegedly “lost control of the vehicle after it hit sugarcane hanging out of a tractor coming from the opposite direction”. The injured are said to be in a stable condition and are undergoing treatment in the hospital.
According to the news reports, the six injured include the driver and cleaner of the dumper truck and they are all admitted to the Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) run SMIMER hospital. The incident took place early this morning near Kosamba village, around 60 km from Surat. According to the local police, labourers and their families, all hail from Banswada in Rajasthan. The Surat District Superintendent of Police Usha Rada was quoted by the Deccan Herald saying, “The driver of the truck is in our custody. He told us that the accident happened after he lost balance as his truck collided with a tractor carrying sugarcane and ran over the labourers who were sleeping on the pavement.” Rada said while the driver had ducked the tractor, his dumper collided with the sugarcane which then pierced the windshield and blocked his view, resulting in the accident.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled the deaths and posted on social media tweeting, “The loss of lives due to a truck accident in Surat is tragic. My thoughts are with the bereaved families. Praying that the injured recover at the earliest.” He also announced an ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh will be given from the PMNRF to the next of kin of those who were killed, Rs. 50,000 each would be given to those injured.
Ex-gratia of Rs. 2 lakh each from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of those who have lost their lives due to the accident in Surat. Rs. 50,000 each would be given to those injured.
— PMO India (@PMOIndia) January 19, 2021
Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani also announced an ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of kin of those who lost their lives in the accident in Surat.
CM Shri @vijayrupanibjp expressed grief over the death of innocent labourers sleeping on footpath who have been run over by a truck in Surat and announced ex-gratia of Rs.2 lakh each from the State Govt to the next of kin of those who have lost their lives. pic.twitter.com/aRf9ZzJuwQ
— CMO Gujarat (@CMOGuj) January 19, 2021
Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot also condoled the deaths, the victims hailed from Banswara, Rajasthan. He also announced that the Rajasthan govt will give Rs 2 lakh compensation to the family of the deceased & Rs 50,000 to those injured from CM Relief Fund.
The tragedy in Surat, where labourers from Banswara have lost lives is heart wrenching. Rajasthan govt will be providing Rs 2 lakh compensation to family of the deceased & Rs 50,000 to those injured from CM Relief Fund.
— Ashok Gehlot (@ashokgehlot51) January 19, 2021
However, all the compensation is not going to replace the lives lost. Migrant labourers continue to face hardships in cities across the country. And as reported by SabrangIndia recently, India yet to ratify the international convention on migrant workers even as the numbers have tripled over the years.
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