In desperation of returning to their native villages, thousands of migrant labourers, mostly from Bihar, took over the Ambala Highway on Sunday at the Haryana-UP Border in Saharanpur for several hours raising their demand to be allowed to leave for their respective homes.
These angry labourers had gathered at the Haryana-UP Border in Saharanpur district from different states like Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir walking for hundreds of kilometres.
Most of these labourers are from Bihar and they wanted to go to their respective villages crossing UP but they were stopped by the Police at the border and kept in a shelter home of Radha Swami Satsang Beas on Ambala Road in Saharanpur until further arrangement for their journey could be made in view of the recent order of the UP government.
The UP government had issued an order prohibiting the migrants from walking to their destinations. The officials have been asked to ensure the stay of the migrants until buses and trains are arranged to take them to their respective homes.
Losing all patience, these poor labourers came out on the streets on Sunday morning and protested at Ambala Road. They wanted to leave for their native villages on foot at any cost. These penniless labourers have been walking continuously for days without proper food and yet wanted to continue their tough journey. Some even crossed river Yamuna to avoid the fury of the cops.
Divisional Commissioner of Saharanpur Sanjay Kumar and DIG Upendra Agarwal rushed to the spot with senior administrative and police officials and heavy force. The officials tried to control the situation and appealed to the angry labourers to vacate the highway and return to shelter home but the labourers refused to return saying that they do not want any bus or train but will walk till they reach their destinations. Commissioner Kumar and the DIG tried to convince them speaking in Bhojpuri and promised that they would be soon sent to their homes.
Gagandev, Vinod, Ranjeet Sahni and a group of about 15 people who had come here from Jagadari city in Haryana are determined not to stay here anymore. “It has been enough now we want to return,” said Vinod adding that they had walked for more than 50 km to reach here with their families and children. Ranjeet’s wife Babita is nine months pregnant yet they are desperate to leave from Saharanpur.
Divisional Commissioner Sanjay Kumar said that over 150 buses have been arranged to take the labourers to the Bihar border of which about 25 buses have left from here with the labourers.
Thousands of labourers are still on road desperately waiting for their turn to get a bus. Last Wednesday too, labourers had come out from the shelter homes in Saharanpur and raised slogans against the Bihar government demanding an immediate return to their homes. SSP Dinesh Kumar P reached there and persuaded them to stay at the shelter home until buses and trains are arranged for them.