No progress in Nangloi Metro Accident

The death of two men recently at the metro construction site in Nangloi in West Delhi served as a fodder for news channels for one entire day. Most national dailies too carried the story in their front pages.

After one week of the incident, the response of the administration as well as that of the media has been that of neglect and indifference.

Two men who were sleeping at the Nangloi metro construction site were buried alive on November 19, when a tractor trolley had dumped loose earth on them. Their hands presumably got locked under the blankets with which they had covered themselves up and they could not come out.

No progress in the case

The scene after more than one week of the incident is such: The dead bodies are still lying in the mortuary of Sanjay Gandhi Hospital in Mangolpuri. There has been no progress in the case. The police have been too casual in their approach into the case. Even the tractor driver who dumped the loose earth on the two men is yet to be caught or questioned by the police.

The only thing that the Nangloi police claim to have done is, they have put posters of the unidentified men in Bihar bound trains. Ironically, no such posters have been put in the Nangloi metro construction area where the incident actually took place.

Asked why they had chosen Bihar bound trains, Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) Suresh Kumar who is looking into the case said that the two “appeared to be labourers from Bihar and people of the state travelling in the trains may identify them”.

DMRC tries to evade responsibilities

Questions were also raised on the safety measures being followed by Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. However, Chief Public Relations Officer of DMRC, Anuj Dayal, has denied any lapse on their part.

He argues that construction work where the incident took place was over. In reality, this is not the case.
The incident took place about 200 m from the construction site of the Nangloi Metro Station. Less than 20m from the place where the two men were reportedly sleeping, the DMRC construction work is in its full flow.

The two dead bodies were found between the stones outlining the central verge between the two roads. Layers of mud under which their bodies were found lying as told by local residents still lies there above the ground level evidently from the construction work going on, on the other side of the road.

Asked if DMRC will provide compensation to the families of the deceased, the chief PRO said “It can be that they were brought there already dead. Their clothes were not that of those who sleep on pavements”. He also attacked media reports that the two men were covered in blankets. “There was no blanket”, he said in a recent interview.

Baseless Arguments

ASI Suresh Kumar clarifies that when the bodies were dug out, they were wrapped in blankets, giving the impression that the two men were sleeping. Asked about the type of clothes that they were wearing, the ASI said that they were dressed in plain clothes “like labourers normally do”.

Mohammad Gulfan who runs a tea shop close to the place where the incident took place was one of the first ones to see the bodies. “Their legs were protruding out from the heap of mud and that brought them to our notice”, he recalls. “We immediately called the police”. He also informs that the two labourers mostly slept at the same place, on the pavement between the roads, right in front of his small tea shop. He had even warned them when they had come to buy tea from his shop, but they did not pay heed.

Another local shop keeper Navin Kumar also clarifies that sleeping on the pavements is a common affair there. “The labourers often drink and lie down on the pavements and these two must be among them”, he says.

The unidentified dead bodies will soon be brought out from the Hospital and cremated by Police officials. Their family members meanwhile will keep waiting for their kin, who are no more.

Will someone tell them?

Dipu Shaw
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