Migrant worker walks, hitchhikes 1,500 kms from Mumbai to UP, dies

The cause of his death has not been ascertained yet

Migrant workers

Migrant workers who have been stranded in cities outside their native villages in cities for work, are finally being sent home. But some others, who started walking back home in a bid to reach home due to the uncertainty surrounding their future in the city, haven’t been so lucky.

One of them was Insaf Ali, a 35-year-old helper to a mason in Mumbai, who walked and hitch-hiked 1,500 kms from Mumbai to Shravasti district in Uttar Pradesh, carrying Rs. 5,000, only money that remained with him. After managing to dodge the police and checks for 14 days, he was caught and quarantined just as he reached his Mathkanwa village on Monday morning. By noon on Monday, he passed away, reported The Indian Express.

His wife Salma Begum (32) said she didn’t even get a chance to see him as she was at her parent’s home and his body was taken away before she returned. She said that when Ali had called her from his way, just before his mobile battery ran out, he said that he was only surviving on biscuits. At the quarantine, officials say, he kept throwing up.

Ali has a six-year-old son, Irfan. The rest of Ali’s family, including his parents and his brothers’ families have been put under quarantine. His two elder brothers who also work as migrant labourers are currently stranded in Punjab. Ali’s sister-in-law, Amina Bano (40) said that nobody had informed them when Ali would be buried or when they could leave the school they were quarantined at. “Some are saying we will have to stay here for 14 days, some say we will be allowed to go after the results come,” said Amina.

Salma said Ali left Mumbai on April 13, telling her he was running out of money. “He had not got any work for weeks. He said that in the village, he would at least be around familiar people and manage.” Breaking down while she spoke on the phone, she said, “He kept saying how he only wanted to come back to the village. After he did, he could not live for more than a few hours.”

She said Ali had kept calling her throughout his way back. “He came to Jhansi with 10 others, either walking or hiding in a truck, paying the driver Rs 3,000. From there, he walked till Bahraich, where he was caught Sunday night by police and asked to return. Having lost the others with him, he dodged police and hid at a ghat for the night. After that, his mobile died and I could not get in touch with him. I called all the people he was travelling with, but no one knew anything. Then, on Monday morning, he called and told me to come back to Mathkanwa village,” she said. But Ali passed away before she could return.

Anoop Kumar Singh, Shravasti SSP said that Ali had passed away after he had had some breakfast at the quarantine centre in the village. He said, “His body has been kept in the mortuary and his sample sent for COVID-19 test to Lucknow. His family members have been quarantined as they had touched the body after his death.” He explained that post-mortems were only being conducted for only those people who were testing negative for Covid-19. He also said they hadn’t confirmed the exact reason for Ali’s death yet.

Shravasti Chief Medical Officer A P Bharghawa said the test report was expected soon, adding, “The cause of death is still doubtful.”

However, coupled with the grief of the loss of her husband, Salma is now being ostracized in the village as the villagers suspect her to be infected. All alone in the house, she said she felt more afraid for her son, who kept asking her for biscuits. “What will happen to him? I have no money,” she sobbed.

Current development

Insaf Ali has tested negative for coronavirus. However his autopsy couldn’t ascertain the cause of his death. “His coronavirus test is negative. The post-mortem was inconclusive. His cause of death could not be ascertained,” SP Anoop Kumar Singh told The Indian Express.

His mortal remains were handed over to the family and the burial was scheduled to happen yesterday. They had been quarantined but were sent home after his test report came back negative.


35 Bru refugees crossover to Tripura from Mizoram amid lockdown booked

LNJP Hospital patient alleges he was kept around dead bodies, hospital refutes charge






Related Articles