ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Roadside Mishap or a Systemic Liquidation?

A Fact-finding Report

The article is based on a fact-finding report of an accident killing 15 migrant workers near Surat. It argues that this mishap was not caused due to rash driving but was an episode signifying the liquidation of marginalised people.

A horrific accident took place at Palod village, located at the distance of around 50 km near Surat city, when at midnight of 18 January 2021, a giant dumper, running at a high velocity, crushed 20 migrant labourers who were sleeping on the roadside, as the driver lost control of the vehicle. Out of them, 15 were dead and the remaining five were seriously injured, so were the driver and the cleaner as the dumper crashed with the roadside shops (Indian Express 2021). Out of those who lost their lives, eight were women, six men and one girl-child. All the victims were tribals and most of these migrant workers were from the Banswara district of Rajasthan, whereas a few were from the Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh. All were in the age group of 1630, except a 40-year-old woman. Those that succumbed to death or were injured in this fatal accident were family members and had migrated to Surat very recently. They were working as casual labourers on a nearby construction site.

The police on their part registered a first information report against the driver and the owner of the dumper and started police proceedings against them. The state governments of Rajasthan and Gujarat as well as the union government had announced `2 lakh of accident compensation to the families of the deceased. According to authentic reporting from a non-governmental organisation (NGO) called Ajeevika Bureau, only the Rajasthan government has fulfilled its promise of monetary compensation.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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