There were some rotis lying on the tracks when the police got there with blood on them.
They looked around and there were bodies of 14 men cut into pieces.
When they started investigating, they got to know that there were around 20 men that were there that night.
They had left Jalna at around 7 PM on 7th May where they worked at worked as labourers in a steel factory.
They were walking towards Aurangabad in hope of getting a train which they didn’t get in Jalna.
They just wanted to go home safely so that they had support and a roof over their head during the coronavirus pandemic.
They walked for almost 36 kilometers when they started feeling tired.
They thought they could take some rest.
Initially they walked on the road but had started walking on the railway tracks pretty soon as that would be more convenient.
They decided that they could sit on the track for a while before their journey.
Before they even knew, they drifted away in deep sleep because of the fatigue.
On 8th May, a goods trains was passing that way.
The locomotive pilot saw some shadowy figures as it was 5:22 AM.
The locomotive pilot decided to honk as a warning sign so that if there was someone, they’d run away but to no avail.
When the locomotive pilot felt that wasn’t working, he even tried to stop the train.
Normally the average speed of goods train is 24 kilometers per hour which has doubled due to the decongested rail network.
In a swift move, 14 of those labourers were cut into pieces on the tracks.
6 of these other labourers were taken to the Aurangabad Civil Hospital, 2 of those succumbed to their injuries.
4 of them had less injuries and were treated at the same place.
A high level inquiry headed by the Commissioner or Railway Safety (South Central Circle) had been ordered to find out the cause and to investigate.
The families of those who died in this accident were given an ex-gracia of Rs. 5 lakh by Maharashtra’s Chief Minister’s Office.
The Railway has denied ex-gracia to the families of those who died because they do not consider accidents that happen due to external factors.
The poor have their issues, when they stay inside, hunger kills them and if they go out, corona will.
They had 150 rotis and a tin box of ‘chutney’.
These labourers however, had arrangement for food, yet the impending doom couldn’t be avoided.
Their nap turned into an eternal slumber.
Disclaimer: Based on true events.
– Tanisha Agrawal