A video of a toddler pulling the shroud from the dead body of her mother in Bihar's Muzaffarpur railway station has gone viral on social media, highlighting the tragedy of the migrant workers going back to their native places.
In the video, the toddler is seen playing with her mother’s shawl seemingly to wake her up. According to a New Indian Express report, the son kept trying to wake her mother up for five minutes straight presuming she is only asleep.
He was stopped by one of the persons taking care of the body, said eyewitnesses mentioned in the report.
The deceased has been identified as Arbina Khatoon (35), who had arrived at the Muzaffarpur railway station in a Shramik Special train for migrants on 25 May. It has been alleged that she passed away due to severe heat or hunger after traveling without food or water, as per the report.
However, the railways said that the woman in the video died on the train as she was unwell.
East Central Railway spokesperson Rajesh Kumar told IANS, "The video is of 25 May. The family had deboarded at the Muzaffarpur railway station from the Ahmedabad-Madhubani Shramik Special train."
He said the family was going back to their home in Katihar. The official said that Khatoon complained of uneasiness in the train on Monday at around 12 noon. "She soon passed away and her body was taken down from the train at the Muzaffarpur railway station at 3pm," the East Central Railway spokesperson said.
The woman was heading to Katihar with her sister, sister's husband and two children, he said. In the video, which has gone viral on social media, it can be seen that after her body was laid out on the station platform, her son kept playing and trying to wake her up.
The official also said that according to the family members of the deceased woman, she was unwell and mentally unstable. The ECR official in a statement also said that the body of another woman was also brought down from the Surat-Purnia Shramik Special train on Wednesday at the Mansi station in Bihar.
He said the deceased was identified as Arbina Khatoon, who was returning to her native place in Katihar. "She had undergone a heart operation on 20 March and passed away in the train after the train crossed Begusarai station," he said.
However, the family of the deceased has contradicted the claims of the railways, while saying she passed away due to heat and hunger.
The Indian Railways had suspended operations of the passenger, mail and express trains since March 25 amid the nationwide lockdown to combat the spread of coronavirus.
The railways started to run Shramik Special trains from 1 May to transport stranded migrant workers, students, pilgrims and tourists and has till date ferried over 44 lakh people across the country in over 3,274 trains.
(With inputs from IANS)
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.