The body of a 38-year-old migrant worker was discovered in the train toilet at Uttar Pradesh’s Jhansi Railway Station on Wednesday. The body, found by railway workers sanitising the train after a round trip from to Gorakhpur in eastern UP, may have been lying in the toilet for as many as five days.
The body has been identified as Mohan Lal Sharma, a resident of the state’s Basti district.
He had managed to reach Jhansi on May 23, after which he and other migrants looking to return home were sent by the district administration to the station to board a train to Gorakhpur, which is around 70 km from Basti, NDTV reported.
On boarding the train Sharma spoke to a relative on his mobile phone and asked to be met at the station in Gorakhpur. The following day, May 24, when the relative tried to reach Sharma on the phone, he found it was switched off.
When the train returned to Jhansi on Wednesday, May 27 the railway workers proceeded to disinfect the coaches they found Mr Sharma’s body. The coach the body was found in had been locked for the return to Jhansi.
The Railways has said no one was supposed to check that it was, in fact, empty before it returned.
North Central Railways said Sharma, who had boarded the train “after medical screening as laid down for travel during the COVID-19 outbreak”, also said no medical assistance had been sought by him, or anybody else on his behalf, during the journey.
Over 20 lakh migrants have returned to UP over the past two months, with several lakhs more expected in the days to come, leaving the state with multiple challenges – to screen and quarantine them, to provide food and shelter and to ensure they get employment.
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