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Migrant workers come out on road; say want to travel back home

By PTI Updated: Apr 14, 2020 11:13 pm
Footwear of protestors is seen lying on the road after after police action on migrant workers who defied lockdown norms and wanted to leave for their native places, after the extension of lockdown till May 3 in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, outside Bandra Railway Station in Mumbai, Tuesday, April 14, 2020. (PTI)

Mumbai, April 14 (PTI): Hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced extension of the coronavirus-enforced lockdown till May 3, a large number of migrant workers who earn daily wages came out on road here on Tuesday demanding transport arrangements to go back to their native places.

Daily wageworkers have been rendered jobless ever since the lockdown was announced late last month to stem the spread of Covid-19, making their life a constant struggle.

Though authorities and NGOs have made arrangements for their food, most of them want to go back to their native places to escape the hardship brought by the sweeping curbs.

According to a police official, daily wage earners, numbering around 1,000, assembled at suburban Bandra (West) bus depot near the railway station and squatted on road at around 3 pm.

The daily wage earners, who reside on rent in slums in the nearby Patel Nagri locality, were demanding arrangement of transport facilities so that they can go back to their native towns and villages.

They originally hail from states like West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.

One of the labourers, who did not reveal his name, said, NGOs and local residents are providing food to migrant workers, but they want to go back to their native states during the lockdown which has badly affected their source of livelihood.

“Now, we don’t want food, we want to go back to our native place, we are not happy with the announcement (extending the lockdown),” he said, looking dejected.

Asadullah Sheikh, who hails from Malda in West Bengal, said, We have already spent our savings during the first phase of the lockdown. We have nothing to eat now, we just want to go back at our native place, the government should made arrangements for us.

Another labourer, Abdul Kayyun, said I am in Mumbai for last many years but have never seen such a situation. The government should start trains to shift us from here to our native place.”

Heavy police deployment was made at the protest site to tackle any untoward incident.

Personnel from other police stations were called at the spot to maintain order, the official added.

By PTI Updated: Apr 14, 2020 11:13:53 pm