Muslim villagers in Bihar offer food to migrants on Mizoram-bound train in humanitarian gesture

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Bihar was caught in a controversy after goons had attacked two north-east bound trains there last weekSabrangindia02 Jun 2020

Mizoram TrainImage

The Covid-19 pandemic still surging across the country has not only taken a physical toll on the people of India, but has particularly been a trying experience for minorities across the country after reports of widespread racism against those from the North-East and the ostracization of Muslims brought about by the media.

However, there are some instances which go to show that no matter how much some elements try to communalize the pandemic, the reality on ground will always be different.

An example of this came through a recent video where Muslims were seen offering food to the train passengers of Mizoram. A Shramik special train was on its way to Mizoram, taking stranded labourers back home, when it made a halt in Begusarai when villagers rushed with food packets to be delivered to them, reported The Siasat Daily.

Thanking the villagers for their gesture Mizoram CM Zoramthanga took to Twitter and said, “Few days after stranded Mizos offers their food to flood-affected victims on their way back, a brief halt of their #ShramikSpecialTrain at #Begusarai Bihar witnessed good #Samaritans offering them food in return! Goodness for goodness. #India is beautiful when flooded with #Love (sic).”

The act of humanity was also lauded by many others on Twitter.

This gesture came days after disturbing news of attacks and vandalism on Northeast bound trains in Bihar. At least two Shramik Special trains were attacked in the state. Inside Northeast reported that on May 24, a train arriving from Gurgaon carrying over 1,300 migrants to Dimapur was attacked by locals from Bihar after it crossed the Patna junction. It was reported that locals not only forcibly tried to enter inside the train, but also pelted stones and hit the doors and windows with sticks. The returnees also alleged that they had spent over 20 hours without food and water.

However, the chief spokesperson of Northeast Frontier Railway, Subhanan Chandra and the CPRO East Central Railway, Rajesh Kumar both termed the incident as a “minor scuffle”, The Hindu reported. Passengers also told the publication that the police took no action against the miscreants and remained mere spectators to the matter, apart from being violent against the returnees instead of taking action to stop the violent crowd.

On May 25, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh issued a statement condemning the attack on another Shramik special train 01650 that was bringing back stranded people from Goa to Manipur, ANI reported. He urged Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar to look into the incident and book the miscreants. The train was attacked twice, once outside Barauni station and second time outside Katihar station.  

The goons passed vulgar and racist remarks against the returnees and even threatened to kill those on the train. A report by also showed that the train was to carry 914 Manipuris and 75 Arunachali persons and leave from Madgaon to run a 61 hour journey to Manipur. However, it turned into a hellish nightmare, first with the authorities giving an advisory that all returnees had to carry their own water, food and essentials, second due to filthy toilets and lack of water in bathrooms and third, due to the incessant attacks the returnees had to face.

The callousness of the Central government, first in issuing transport for migrants and second, in failing to assure their health and safety has evidently come to the fore with these attacks.


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