Malda (WB), May 31 (PTI) A 50-year-old migrant worker died on-board a Shramik Special train from Rajasthan to West Bengal, triggering panic among other passengers who travelled with the body for more than eight hours, police said on Sunday.

Buddha Parihar, who hailed from Harishchandrapur in Malda district, used to work at a hotel in Rajasthan's Bikaner. His brother-in-law Saraju Das also used to work with him at the same hotel.

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Parihar, survived by his wife and two children, was working in Rajasthan for nearly 20 years, his family said.

Parihar and Das lost their jobs due to the coronavirus lockdown, and their multiple attempts to return to Malda failed. But they finally boarded a train around 11 am on May 29, police said.

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Parihar died on the train around 10 pm on Saturday when it was near Mughalsarai in Uttar Pradesh, they said.

The death triggered panic in the compartment with people suspecting that Parihar might have died due to COVID- 19 and the co-passengers might contract the disease, police said.

The body was handed over to the Government Railway Police (GRP) when the train reached Malda Town station around 6.40 am on Sunday.

Later, the matter was handed over to the Englishbazar Police Station which has started an investigation into the incident and sent the body to Malda Medical College for postmortem, a senior police officer said.

"We used to work at a hotel but as soon as the lockdown started we lost our job. We didn't have any money left and tried to return home several times but couldn't. In the meantime, Buddha fell sick. Finally, we boarded the train on May 29. But he died on the train mysteriously," Das said.

Malda District Magistrate Rajarshi Mitra later said Parihar had tuberculosis.

Das, who accompanied him, will be tested for coronavirus, he added.

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