KANPUR: The Kanpur police on Sunday launched an investigation into the allegations by some migrant workers that the Rajasthan police had forcibly put them into the lime sack-laden truck that collided with another in Uttar Pradesh’s Auraiya district.
Altogether 26 migrant workers died and 36 injured after their vehicle rammed into a stationary DCM truck carrying many other labourers near an eatery along National Highway-19 in Auraiya’s Chirhauli village early on Saturday.
According to Guddu, one of the migrant workers and a survivor, he along with 43 others had left Rajasthan — where they used to work in a stone mine — for their homes in West Bengal. He alleged that their ordeal began soon after they were stuffed by Rajasthan police into the trailer-truck carrying sacks of lime and taken out of the state limits.
“A day before, we had reached Bharatpur by bus. We were stopped there by Rajasthan police personnel and told that we couldn’t go ahead. After much persuasion, they allowed us to proceed without the bus. Later, the police stuffed all 43 of us in the trailer-truck carrying sacks of lime from Alwar and took it out of the Rajasthan border,” Guddu alleged.
“We are recording statements of the migrants travelling in the truck. Law will take its course if the allegations of the survivors are found to be true,” Kanpur range IG Mohit Agarwal told TOI on Sunday.
Auraiya SP Suniti told TOI that a case was registered against the drivers, owners and transporters of both the vehicles under relevant sections of IPC, Epidemic and Motor Vehicles Acts at Auraiya’s Kotwali police station.
The Rajasthan Police denied having put the labourers in the truck. A senior officer said: “Roadways buses are plying daily and dropping migrant labourers to the borders. In this case, the bus dropped the migrants at the Bharatpur-UP border. We are following the guidelines and do not allow or ask people to get into the trucks.”
“Investigations are on and raids are underway to arrest the two drivers, owners and transporters of both vehicles. The migrants travelling in a DCM truck and headed to MP were charged Rs 1,500 per head, while those who had boarded the truck in Rajasthan had paid Rs 2,000 per person,” said SP Suniti.
Two teams from Auraiya police would be sent to Rajasthan to verify the survivors’ allegations, she added.
“The accident occurred as the trailer-truck was speeding. If the speeding charge is proved, we will add IPC Section 279 (rash driving),” an officer said.