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‘Had Nothing to Eat’: Kin of Rampur Labourer Killed in Long March

Younger brother of a Rampur-based labourer recalls tragedy that unfolded on their way back home on foot from Delhi.

Published
COVID-19
2 min read

Video Editor & Producer: Varun Sharma

Two days after nationwide lockdown was announced on 24 March, Nitin who used to work as a labourer at a sandle sole-making unit in Haryana's Sonipat decided to leave for his village.

Along with his younger brother, Pankaj, who too worked as a labourer in the same factory, Nitin had embarked on a 225-km long trek on foot. His destination was Ladpur village in UP's Rampur district.

On 28 March, which marked the second day of his travel by road, Nitin was killed in an accident when a private bus hit him in Moradabad. He is survived by his wife, parents and a two-year-old daughter. The driver fled the spot soon after the accident. An FIR was registered u/s 279 (rash driving), 304A (causing death by negligence) of the IPC but no one has been arrested yet.

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Back in the village, Pankaj recalled how the sudden announcement of lockdown, made in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, compelled them to leave Haryana as there was no means of subsistence.

“There was nothing to eat there. We had started walking on foot from there on 26 March. We were on foot when my brother met with an accident.”
Pankaj, Nitin’s brother

The day Nitin succumbed to injuries, the UP government announced that 1,000 buses were being arranged to take migrant labourers back home from Delhi-Ghaziabad border. But for Nitin’s family, who haven't heard anything from the administration yet, it was already too late.

The DM of Rampur, Anjaneya Kumar Singh, however, told The Quint that “monetary assistance is under process”.

(With inputs from Nadir in Rampur)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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