The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
Condemn Criminal Treatment of Migrant Workers
The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) expresses its deep shock and anguish over the tragic death of 16 migrant workers who were travelling from Jalna in Maharashtra where they were walking to their native place in Sahdol district of Madhya Pradesh. The tragedy took place at 5.30 a.m. this morning when these hapless workers, exhausted as they were, had fallen asleep on the railway track itself.
The CPI(M) is of the firm opinion that this is no accidental death but the result of the criminal apathy of the central government to the plight of the migrant workers and their unbearable state of desperation. The refusal to run trains for over a month and then to charge fares for reaching their homes when they have no money or food to survive has led to such tragedies.
The fact that the overwhelming majority of the sixteen workers whose lives were snuffed out are tribals, underlines the deep social and economic divide and inequalities that the overwhelming majority of our population face. The reported enquiry that the government is initiating is an eyewash that limits the scope to mere technicalities of the accident.
The CPI(M) reiterates the demand that the government reverses its policy of reprehensible apathy towards the plight of the migrant workers and takes up their transportation free of cost and provide every migrant worker along with all non-tax paying citizens Rs. 7500 per month as cash support for three months and free rations to all needy. This is the minimum which can barely redress the tragedy that has shocked the nation. The government must make adequate ex gratia payment of compensation for the dead and injured workers.
For CPI(M) Central Committee Office