Amid lockdown in the country, imposed to arrest the spread of Coronavirus, hundreds of migrant workers stuck in Gujarat’s Surat due the lockdown went on a rampage “out of anger,” setting up many handcarts and tyres afire, demanding that they be allowed to return to their native places amid the lockdown.
The police have detained around 80 migrant workers, mostly from Odisha. After the incident, police personnel were deployed in large numbers in the area and the situation was brought under control, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) CK Patel said.
“Hundreds of workers, mostly from Odisha, hit the streets demanding that they should be sent to their native places. They also claimed that the food served to them by an NGO is tasteless and they have to stand in queue to get the meal,” said ACP Patel.
“Out of anger, they torched some handcarts and tyres in Laskana area. We have detained 80 migrant workers. Heavy police deployment and strict vigil by the administration has brought the situation under control,” he said.
Earlier, in a similar incident on March 30, over 90 migrant labourers were arrested in Surat city for defying the nationwide lockdown and attacking police demanding to let them go back to their native villages.
The Centre on Tuesday (April 7) had informed the Supreme Court that in 578 districts of the country, a solid network of state governments and Union Territories along with NGOs is operational to implement relief measures for the people, including migrant workers, affected by the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Various governments have given food to over 54 lakh people in addition to over 30 lakh others served by NGOs across the country.
The Centre had submitted a status report in response to a PIL filed by activists Harsh Mander and Anjali Bhardwaj on the plight of migrant workers after the nationwide lockdown was announced.
The Centre submitted the facts in a chart, saying it is duty-bound to fully satisfy the apex court on various issues concerning migrant workers.
According to the report, the number of workers given shelter and food by employers/industry where they were working is 15, 05107. The number of persons given food by the governments is 54, 15458, and the NGOs in various governments provided food to 30,11051 persons.
The total number of persons housed in relief camps is 63, 1119 by various governments. The number of such persons looked after by NGOs is 40, 5908. The total number of food camps organized by various state governments is 7,848 and by NGOs 9,473. The number of active relief camps and shelters run by various governments is 22,567 and by NGOs 3,909.
In Gujarat, the number of coronavirus cases rose to 378 on Friday, after 116 new cases were reported since Thursday night. With two more deaths reported during this period, the death toll due to coronavirus reached 19, officials said.