Election strategist and former JD(U) leader Prashant Kishor on Monday tweeted a video wherein migrant labourers were seen locked up inside a cell and crying, begging to be freed.
Stating that this was the kind of measure Nitish Kumar had adopted for social distancing during the 21-day lockdown due to Coronavirus, Kishor sought the Chief Minister’s resignation.
“Another frightening picture of the government’s efforts to save people from the corona infection. For the poor people who have reached Bihar from various parts of the country after facing hardship and trouble, Nitish Kumar’s arrangement for social distancing and quarantine is heart-wrenching,” Prashant Kishor tweeted in Hindi.
Though all inter-state bus service were suspended following the 21-day lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 24, thousands of daily wagers and labourers from Delhi, Haryana and even Punjab have been walking hundreds of kilometers to reach their native places.
Thousands of migrants were seen thronging the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh borders and trying to return to their native states by any available transport or even foot.
The video is reportedly from Siwan near the border with Uttar Pradesh, around 130 km from state capital Patna.
“Since morning, they have been telling us we will let you go, the bus is coming. But there is no bus. They are not letting us go,” a man, his mouth covered with a handkerchief but jostled from all sides in the packed shed tells a reporter, weeping.
“Please help us get out. We don’t want anything, just let us go,” the man says.
.#Corona संक्रमण से लोगों को बचाने के सरकारी प्रयासों की एक और भयावह तस्वीर –
भारी तकलीफ़ और मुसीबतों को झेलकर देश के कई हिस्सों से बिहार पहुँचने वाले गरीब लोगों के लिए #NitishKumar की #SocialDistancing और #Quarantine की ये व्यवस्था दिल दहलाने वाली है।#NitishMustQuit pic.twitter.com/ot3hygGRk7
— Prashant Kishor (@PrashantKishor) March 29, 2020
Earlier on Saturday, Prashant Kishor had hit out at the Centre calling the 21-day lockdown “botched up”, adding that “India deserves better”.
“For all our optimism, the bitter truth is India’s covid response needs to get better than just banking on a botched-up lockdown. Less than 10 covid test per million, & non-existent COVID treatment & care facilities for people needing such services. India Deserves Better,” he tweeted.
A day before, he criticised the Central government’s move of countywide Coronavirus lockdown as “not so well-executed” and said that the Government is “indulging in nauseating self-praise.”
Just after the announcement of the nationwide lockdown on Tuesday, Kishor had tweeted, “Decision to #lockdownindia may be right but 21 days might (be) a bit too long. But then this is the price one pays for being behind the curve. With the shaky preparedness to deal with the #CovidCrisis and very little to safeguard the poor, we could be staring at some tough days ahead.”
Last year, Prashant Kishor was dropped from Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal-United after bitterness ensued between the two leaders over the party’s stance on the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). Kishor had questioned the party’s support to CAA.