Dumka: A tribal migrant worker from Ramgarh district died on Sunday night near Giridih while returning from Gujarat in a bus along with 35 others. The deceased, Shivlal Kisku, tested negative for Covid-19 and reportedly died of jaundice, which he was suffering from for the last two months.
Dev Murmu, a co-passenger said, “We were near Giridih when he suddenly lost consciousness and died.” Soon after Kisku’s death, 25 of the passengers, got down from the bus and fled while the vehicle took the remaining nine, who included a sister of the deceased, to Dumka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) for Covid-19 testing and isolation.
At DMCH, samples of Kisku and his sister were taken and tested with the newly installed Truenat machine. Their results have returned negative on Monday, Murmu said.
Dumka civil surgeon Dr Anant Kumar Jha said, “The body will be handed over to the police as the test result is negative.” He added that samples of the rest of the passengers will be sent to Patliputra Medical College and Hospital, Dumka, for testing.
Talking to TOI, Dumka DC Rajeshwari B said all passengers accompanying the deceased are under quarantine. The DC said she had no knowledge of passengers getting off the bus midway.
However, Murmu said, “We hired the bus by paying Rs 2.10 lakh but 25 others got off and fled after Kisku’s death.”
On Sunday morning, a 30-year-old migrant worker, Vijay Khandiat, from West Singhbhum died also in Wardha district of Maharashtra while walking back home from Pune along with 15 others.
According to his colleagues, Khandait complained of severe stomach pain and was rushed to the hospital but died during treatment.”
West Singhbhum DC Arava Rajkamal confirmed the death but said the Wardha administration has not shared any information about the cause of the death, so far. He said, “The cremation will be conducted at Wardha as per rituals of the family of Vijay and Rs 5,000 has been transferred to the bank account of one of his colleagues as cost.”
Rajkamal said the 15 migrants will be transported back by a Shramik special train this week and added that the SP (Wardha) had assured that their food and shelter will not be a problem.
Talking to TOI over the phone, Kanuram Khandait, a member of the group walking back home, said, “It was around 2.30am when Vijay said he was having severe stomach pain. We rushed him to the hospital on a handcart but died.”
Parma Khandait, another migrant in the group, said they were daily wage earners of a contractor who supplied bricks and sand in Pune. The contractor shut down his business after the nationwide lockdown was announced on March 23 and they lost their jobs, Parma said.