In a shocking incident, nine people were found dead in a well, near Warangal town, in the Indian state of Telangana, over the last two days. Eight of the deceased were migrant workers. A three-year-old was also among those who died.
A disturbing video of the incident went viral in India, with many tweeps pointing out the plight of poor migrant workers.
Reportedly, on Thursday, neighbours spotted four bodies floating in an agricultural well in a rural area of the Warangal district. After the police were alerted, the deceased were identified as Maqsood, his wife Nisha, their daughter Bushra Khatun, and her three-year-old son, a migrant family from West Bengal. It had been reported that the family, who were living in the Gorrekunta village in Geesukonda mandal, may have been under extreme financial pressure as a result of the lockdown.
However, on Friday, police made a disturbing discovery while trying to clean up the well. Five more bodies were found, say reports. And, two of these five bodies, were identified as Maqsood’s sons, Shabad Alam and Sohail Alam, who were studying for an ITI (Industrial Training Institute) diploma in the state.
Police said that the three other bodies were of migrant labourers, Shakeel Ahmed, Sriram and Shyam, from West Tripura and Bihar. They had reportedly "gone missing" earlier.
Tweeps have shared the news reports and videos tagging lawmakers, and have said that the situation of migrant workers seems to be worsening. Many tweeps suspected that they were driven to commit suicide, due to the lack of money and food, amid India's lockdown.
According to the police, Maqsood’s family was living in Warangal's Kareemabad for the past 20 years. Recently, following the lockdown, they moved to Gorrekunta village, where they had been working at a gunny bags manufacturing unit.
A case of suspicious death has reportedly been registered under Section 174 (inquiry or report on suicide) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Speaking to the media on Friday, Commissioner of Police Ravinder stated that a post mortem examination is expected to provide more leads in the case and shed more light on the cause of death.
And, Assistant Commissioner of Police P Shyam Sundar added: "There are no injuries on the bodies. If it was a suicide pact, only the family of six would have taken their own lives, but there are three other bodies. We are investigating several angles."
Their bodies have reportedly been sent to Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital in Warangal for a postmortem.