The Railways on Wednesday defended its handling of migrant specials after a video surfaced online showing a toddler attempting to wake up his dead mother on a platform in Bihar's Muzaffarpur. The woman had boarded the shramik special train from Ahmedabad.
While the Railways claimed the woman died of a pre-existing heart condition, Aam Aadmi Party's Sanjay Singh rubbished the claim, calling it a "lie".
The video which appeared online Wednesday captured one of the most poignant pictures of the massive migrant crisis unfolding across the country. It shows a child trying to wake up his mother, whose body lay on the Muzaffarpur railway platform, by tugging at a blanket placed over the body.
The Railways said that the train was travelling from Surat to Purnea and arrived at the Mansi station at 9:17 am where some people were seen deboarding the body of a woman who was later identified as Uresh Khatoon.
Based on a submission given by the dead woman's brother-in-law to the railway police, the Railways said she was a resident of Katihar and had been suffering from a heart ailment and had undergone a surgery on March 22.
She was discharged on May 24 and undertook the journey thereafter, the brother-in-law said in his written submission, according to the Railways.
AAP leader Sanjay Singh in a series of tweets hit out at Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and accused the railway spokesperson of lying.
"When the train arrived near Begusarai they started to wake her up and when she didn't. They deboarded at Mansi, her son said in the submission at the police station. Has Piyush Goyal asked his spokesperson to lie? If not, then how is the dead woman's family member saying that the woman was not unwell earlier and that she did not get any help in the train," he said.
"Register as FIR against those responsible for diversions of trains that led to death of seven people from hunger and thirst," Mr Singh wrote on Twitter, attaching a video of a man claiming to be the relative of the dead woman, saying that she was not unwell and died because of the heat on the train.
Sanjay Singh also accused Piyush Goyal of being the "most insensitive and failed railway minister in India's history".
"Does the BJP government not see the pain of these innocent people who are dying of hunger and thirst. Instead of two days, the train is arriving in nine days and the railway minister is busy with Tu-Tu Main-Main (a spat)," he said.
The Railways has earlier denied reports that any train was "lost" and said that all trains which originated during the last three days are running on their "pre-scheduled rationalised routes".
Not withstanding the Railways' explanations, passengers took to social media to highlight the lack of food and water onboard the Shramik Special trains.
While there have been several deaths on the trains, the Railways has said that none of them died due to any shortcomings on the part of the national transporter.
"Few deaths have been reported in Shramik special trains. In most of these cases, it is found that those who died are old, ailing and patients with chronic diseases, who had actually gone to big cities for medical treatment and could come back only after the Railways started these Shramik Special trains," a Railways' spokesperson said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)