Kin of migrants crushed under train await death certificates

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(Eds: Recasting) Shahdol, Mar 27 (PTI) An apparent bureaucratic delay has deprived families of 16 migrant labourers crushed by a train in Maharashtra during the coronavirus-induced lockdown in May last year from getting their death certificates.

They have been demanding the certificates from the Shahdol district administration, which says these documents have to be issued by authorities in Maharashtra's Aurangabad district where the tragedy took place.

Shahdol district officials said they have sent letters to the authorities in Aurangabad requesting them to give the death certificates of the deceased to their families.

The family members, devastated due to the death of their dear ones, have told the Shahdol district officials that they are unable to carry out tasks related to bank accounts and are unable to avail the benefits of government schemes.

The 16 migrant workers - 11 from Shahdol district and five from neighbouring Umaria district of Madhya Pradesh - were walking to Bhusawal from Jalna on way to their state.

They were sleeping on rail tracks near Karmad, around 30 km from Aurangabad due to exhaustion, when they were run over by the train early in the morning of May 8.

The family members of the deceased in Shahdol said they had applied for the death certificates before the then Sub Divisional Magistrate (SDM) of Jaisingh Nagar.

'However, the official said that the death certificate will be issued by the authorities where the mishap occurred,' said Sunita Singh, wife of Rajbahor, one of the deceased.

She said that in the absence of her husband's death certificate, she is unable to get the widow pension from the state government.

Chandrawati, wife of another deceased Deepak Singh, said the death certificate is required to avail the benefits of all the government-run schemes.

Parvati Singh, the wife of another deceased Brajesh, said she was unable to do bank work in absence of the certificate.

Gajraj Singh, who lost his two sons in the incident, said the bank officials have been asking him to bring death certificates to operate the accounts of the deceased.

However, Jaisingh Nagar's SDM Dileep Pandey said the death certificates will be issued by the authorities under whose jurisdiction the accident took place.

'We recently wrote two letters to the Aurangabad administration in this regard,' he said.

He said the Shahdol district collector also talked to his Aurangabad counterpart in this regard recently. PTI COR ADU NP VT VT VT