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Man heads home with body of friend killed in Auraiya




(Representational image) The Saifai hospital where many of the accident victims are being treated | ThePrint Photo | Manisha Mondal

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Auraiya/Etawah: It had been barely six months since Ankush Chauhan and five of his friends from Uttar Pradesh’s Kushinagar had left home to work at a furniture shop in Bharatpur, Rajasthan.

At 2 am Sunday, 23-year-old Ankush travelled home with the body of his friend Arvind Chauhan, who lost his life in the truck collision at Auraiya Saturday.

“Never thought we would have to go back home like this,” a teary-eyed Ankush told ThePrint.

Rendered jobless and without money after the lockdown, Ankush and his friends Dilip Chauhan, Rikesh Chauhan, Arjun Chauhan and Arvind were on their way home from Bharatpur to Kushinagar — a distance of 700 km — when the truck they were travelling in collided with another truck.

The cement-laden truck in which they were travelling carried about 45 people while there were 22 others in the other vehicle, a DCM truck (vehicles used for transportation).

In all, 26 migrant workers were killed in the accident.

“It was late at night and all of us were sleeping. Four of us were sitting at the rear end of the truck while one of our friends was in the middle. We were woken up by the collision. Arvind died on the spot,” Ankush said.

Kamlesh Kumar Dixit, Additional Superintendent of Police, Auraiya, told ThePrint that those with minor injuries have been put up at a guest house in the district. The rest, 32 of them, were taken to the Saifai Medical College in Etawah for treatment.

At Saifai Medical Hospital, all injured migrant workers were being treated and also screened for Covid-19.

Also read: Yogi Adityanath suspends 2 SHOs after 24 migrant workers killed in UP’s Auraiya

‘Couldn’t get bus or train tickets’

Ankush and his friends had left Kushinagar in November 2019. All of them worked and stayed at the furniture shop in Bharatpur where they worked. Depending on how the business was, Ankush said, the men would earn anywhere between Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000 a month.

“If it was good month, we would earn as much as Rs 25,000 also,” he added.

From the money he earned, Ankush would send a substantial amount each month to his family of 11 members. But there had been no money to send home for the past two months since the lockdown.

“You know what our value is. Though we were getting food and water at the factory, how long could all of us go without any work or money? We were also not sending any money back home,” said Ankush.

He also said they had tried getting bus and train tickets but failed to managed any. “Only when we couldn’t get either a bus or train ticket, did we decide to go by a truck.”

While Ankush, Dilip, Rikesh and Arvind were headed to Kushinagar, Arjun was headed to Chitraiya in Uttar Pradesh.

The DCM truck

ThePrint also met three people who were in the DCM truck that was coming from Delhi and were admitted to the Saifai Medical Hospital. They had boarded the truck at Ghaziabad and were headed to Sagar district in Madhya Pradesh.

Bhim Singh and Roshan are daily wage labourers who were employed in Ghaziabad. Both men said they left the city because they had no food, money or work for the past two months.

“We were just about surviving for the past two months. How much longer could we go on like this? We have got no help from anybody in the government,” said Singh.

Roshan, 20, who was walking with a limp, said, “We have been here since 2 pm Sunday and not eaten anything. I just want to go home now.”

Also read: PM Modi condoles lives lost in Auraiya incident, Priyanka Gandhi hits out at UP government

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Andhra doctor, suspended for alleging PPE shortage, now beaten by cops for ‘creating nuisance’




doctor with a stethoscope
A doctor with a stethoscope (Representative image) | Pixabay

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Bengaluru: A doctor with a government hospital in Andhra Pradesh, who was suspended for questioning the shortage of PPE kits, was admitted to a mental health facility Sunday, a day after he was allegedly manhandled by the police and arrested for creating nuisance in Visakhapatnam.

Dr Sudhakar Rao, a government civil surgeon, was beaten, his hands tied behind his back and dragged by police officers Sunday. During the incident, Sudhakar allegedly verbally abused the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in an inebriated state. Videos of the incident have since been widely shared online.

“The police control room received a call about a person creating nuisance on Beach Road Hospital in Visakhapatnam. The Fourth Town police was rushed there and found that the person was the suspended doctor, Sudhakar.

“When the police tried to control him, he snatched the mobile phone of an officer and threw it away. He is suffering from mental disorder and he was drunk. He was sent for a medical examination,” Vishakapatnam Police Commissioner R.K. Meena told the media Sunday.

Sudhakar was admitted to a mental hospital Sunday after doctors at the King George Hospital in Vishakapatnam said he suffered from anxiety.

“Since the doctor is in anxiety and talking irrelevant things, I have referred him to a mental care hospital in Visakhapatnam,” said Dr Radha Rani, medical superintendent, King George Hospital.

A statement released by the hospital said: “Dr Sudhakar was brought to the KGH casualty ward at 6.30 pm. From the smell, it was found that he was in a drunk condition. Under the influence of alcohol, he did not cooperate with anybody there and kept abusing all. Still, his pulse, BP were checked. Pulse was 98, BP 140/100. Blood samples were sent to forensic lab to ascertain alcohol content in his blood.”

Also read: 6 toilets for 20 houses, inadequate testing: Why Mumbai’s Worli chawls are a Covid hotspot

‘Treatment towards Sudhakar was inhuman’

Sudhakar, who spent more than 10 years at the Narsipatnam Government Hospital in Andhra Pradesh, was suspended from his duties in March after he openly criticised the Reddy government for failing to provide PPE kits and N95 masks to doctors treating Covid-19 patients.

He had alleged that the state government was giving N95 masks and PPE kits meant for doctors to politicians and the police.

A video of Sudhakar criticising the government was also shared widely. In the clip, he can be heard saying: “We are putting our lives at risk here. We are asked to use the same mask for 15 days and a fresh mask will be provided only twice a month.”

Speaking to ThePrint, Dr P. Gangadhar Rao, member of the National COVID Committee of the Indian Medical Association, said the manner in which Sudhakar was manhandled by the police was “inhuman” and “violated” human rights.

“We strongly condemn the way he was taken into custody. He was not carrying a weapon, he was alone, the number of policemen outnumbered him. Why treat him like that? We also saw a video where a policeman beats him with a lathi,” said Dr Gangadhar.

He added that Rao was one of the most experienced anaesthetists the Andhra Pradesh government had.

“Our next step of action is to get Sudhakar to write an unconditional apology for having used filthy language, abusing the chief minister and the government. We will then take our appeal to the CM seeking that he be reinstated,” Gangadhar said.

Also read: Face shields, gowns, masks — the new attire for cabin crew post lockdown

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