Truck driver held for ‘ferrying’ migrants to U.P.

A truck driver was arrested for allegedly ferrying 33 migrant workers from the city to their hometowns in Uttar Pradesh amid the nationwide lockdown, the police said on Thursday. All the migrant workers allegedly travelling in the truck were daily wagers residing in Ranhola and Mayapuri areas in Delhi, said the police. The driver, Hari Ram, was nabbed on Wednesday and his vehicle was also seized.

The alleged truck bearing Delhi registration number was stopped during picket checking at South Extension-1. The vehicle had a paper pasted on its windscreen reading "Medicine Emergency Services Provider". The vehicle was also found to be covered with multiple layers of covers using ropes which further raised suspicion.

"When questioned, the driver initially claimed that he was going to supply medicines, but failed to show any papers. When he was asked to remove the covers, he admitted to ferrying migrant labourers," said Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Atul Kumar Thakur. On removing the covers, 33 migrants were found crammed inside the truck in "inhuman conditions", he said.

'Paid INR1,800 per person'

The workers allegedly told the police that they hired the truck for INR1,800 per person to drop them to their hometowns in Azamgarh, Mau, Ghazipur and Banda districts of Uttar Pradesh and had paid INR20,000 advance to the truck owner.

A case has been registered against Hari Ram at Kotla Mubarakpur police station under Sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) and 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, the DCP said.

The police are also looking into the role of the truck owner in the matter.

Of the 33 workers, 29 were handed over to the Ranhola police station while the other four were handed over to the Mayapuri police station with the request to send them back to their respective rented accommodations, said the officer.

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