Migrant labourers throng railway station in Mumbai

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on April 14, 2020

Migrant workers gather outside Bandra West Railway Station as they defy lockdown norms and request to leave for their native places after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced the extension of nationwide lockdown till May 3 in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, in Mumbai, Tuesday, April 14, 2020. Migrant workers were hoping to get back home as they expected the lockdown to end on Tuesday.   -  PTI

The Bandra railway station in Mumbai witnessed chaotic scenes on Tuesday afternoon with more than 2,000 migrant labours thronging at the station wanting to get back to their native places. The police had to resort to a mild lathi-charge to disperse the crowd.

The migrant labourers had come to the station hoping that the lockdown would be ending on Tuesday. Most of the crowd gathered at the station were daily wage labourers who were not able to earn since the government imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 25. As the lockdown was expected to end on April 14, they were hoping to go back home as it is difficult for them to survive in the city without any income.

A senior railway official said that there was no destruction of property as the Government Railway Police and Railway Protection Force did not allow the crowd to enter the station premises. The mob of around 2000, gathered at Bandra railway station as well as the bus depot near the railway station and had virtually blocked the road leading to the station by sitting on the road. They were demanding arrangement of transport facilities to go back to their native villages. Most of them were natives of West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

Ruling Shiv Sena's Minister and Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray's son Aaditya Thackeray opined that the crowd at the Bandra station was the result of the Modi government's inappropriate planning.

Aaditya Thackeray said on Twitter that “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."

Published on April 14, 2020

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