Bengaluru: A 33-year-old construction worker died on her way to home Raichur from Bengaluru on Sunday. The woman, identified as Gangamma, allegedly died of hunger when she was sent being back home by her employer in Bengaluru.
On Tuesday, Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said the death of the woman who walked to her hometown was unfortunate. He further reassured construction labourers that Rs 2,000 was being given out each of them and temporary arrangements were being made for their accommodation. He urged them not to panic and call at the hunger helpline number.
"It is unfortunate and painful that a woman named Gangamma from Sindhanur died as she walked to her hometown during lockdown," Yediyurappa wrote in a tweet.
"This is a difficult time. Construction workers are being given 2000 rupees per person. There is a hunger helpline at 155214. Temporary arrangements are made for construction workers accommodation too. Nobody needs to worry. Government is here to support," he wrote.
The chief minister said an investigation will be conducted into the case and take necessary steps will be taken to provide compensation to the woman's family.
A neighbour of the deceased said Gangamma, who worked in the Kengeri area of Bengaluru, was put on a tractor by her employer without any salary since the nationwide lockdown was imposed.
"What we heard is that the tractor was stopped by police at Ballari, following which she started walking. This affected her health and eventually led to her death," said Murudayya Swamy, the neighbour from Sindhanur taluk in Raichur district.
Regional media also reported that Gangamma had died of hunger, but the Sindhanur tahsildar denied the same.
"The tractor was stopped at Halakunda check-post in Ballari by police. She was sent to a BCM hostel, shelter for the homeless. Her husband Mallikarjuna has given his statement that there was no issue with food nor did she die of hunger. On April 2, Gangamma fell ill and was admitted to VIMS Hospital and she tested positive for Hepatitis B. She died on April 5. Her body was taken to Sindhanur and last rites performed there," the tahsildar wrote to the deputy collector of Raichur district.
Former chief minister and Janata Dal Secular leader HD Kumaraswamy said fund worth Rs 8,000 crore were available with the labour department, but not being used by the government during such a crisis.
"It is unfortunate that Gangamma died on her way home because she did not receive timely medical intervention. Why wasn't she provided food and medical care by government even at the shelter home? Government must provide compensation for the family," Kumaraswamy wrote in a tweet.
Gangamma is survived by her husband and two children, aged 14 and 12. CNN-News18 tried to contact the deceased’s husband, but was unable to get a response. The copy will be updated as and when he responds.