Coronavirus Outbreak: Thousands of Migrant labourers gather at Bandra station demanding to go home
The migrant workers claimed that they were living in cramped conditions in their rooms and wanted to return home
More than a thousand people gathered at the Bandra Railway Station on Tuesday demanding that they be allowed to go back to their homes in other parts of the country. Despite their efforts, the police weren't able to peacefully contain the crowd and as people started to push and shove, policemen unleashed a lathi charge on them.
A massive crowd comprising migrant labourers reached outside #Bandra West railway station hoping to get transportation and get back home as they expected the lockdown to end today on April 14. The police later distributed food packs the the migrants.#COVID2019 #Coronavirus pic.twitter.com/cpiy4dEx9j— Mid Day (@mid_day) April 14, 2020
The people who had gathered were residents of Naupada, Behrampada and other slum areas near Bandra. Mostly migrant workers, they stated that they were living in cramped conditions in their rooms and wanted to return home. Some of them even claimed that they had not received food packets for several days.
The current situation at Bandra Station, now dispersed or even the rioting in Surat is a result of the Union Govt not being able to take a call on arranging a way back home for migrant labour. They don’t want food or shelter, they want to go back home— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) April 14, 2020
Political leaders from various parties showed up at the spot to try and calm down the people. The police initially tried to allow distribution of 1500 grocery packets by asking people to come in a line. However, the crowd got out of hand and people panicked thinking that they won't get enough.
Dr Manoj Kumar Sharma, additional commissioner of police said, "We are trying to arrange for shelter homes for them so that people who are living in cramped conditions can have some space to stay."
Migrant labourers collect food packets from the truck brought by additional commissioner of police. Picture/Ashish Rane
While addressing the state, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said that the incident that took place at Bandra was unfortunate. Uddhav said that the migrant labourers might have thought that the trains will start from April 14 and so they would be able to go back to their villages.
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