Shramik Special train
Shramik Special train. Image credit - DIPR

A total of 97 people died on board the Shramik Special trains while returning home during the nationwide lockdowns, Railway minister Piyush Goyal informed the Rajya Sabha on Saturday.

In his written reply to a query by Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien, Railway minister Goyal submitted the data to the Upper House.

“Based on the data provided by State Police, 97 persons have been reported dead till 09.09.2020 while travelling on board Shramik Special trains during current Covid-19 situation/crisis,” Goyal said in his written reply.

“The state police registers case under Section 174 of Cr.PC in cases of unnatural deaths and follows further legal process,” the Railway minister said.

The minister informed the Upper House of the Parliament that out of the 97 cases of death, the state police forces sent dead bodies for post-mortem in 87 cases.

A total of 51 post-mortem reports have been obtained from respective state police forces so far, in which the reasons for deaths have been shown as cardiac arrest/heart disease/brain hemorrhage/pre-existing chronic disease/chronic lung disease/chronic liver disease etc., the minister said.

The Railway minister’s statement comes after the central government came under criticism when the Union labour ministry earlier this week informed the Parliament that no data was available on the number of migrant workers, who lost their lives during the 68-day lockdown.

The nationwide lockdown was enforced with effect from the March 24 midnight to curb the spread of the COVID19.

Shramik Special trains started operation on May 1 to ferry migrant labourers back to their homes during the lockdown period.

A total of 4,621 Shramik Special trains were operated between May 1 and August 31, carrying 6,319,000 passengers to their home states, the ministry said.

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