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Thursday, May 06, 2021

Bhavnagar: UP-bound workers vandalise bus after train cancelled, 10 arrested

A few workers also threw the bus in a ditch near the factory plant and created unrest after which local police stepped in.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
May 11, 2020 9:30:13 pm
Surat, Vareli, Migrant Workers A similar incident had taken place at Vareli in Surat district a few days ago. Express Photo by Hanif Malek. 4-5-2020

Ten migrant workers were arrested after they vandalised a bus of Nirma Limited chemical plant in Bhavnagar on Monday morning when a Shramik special train meant to ferry them to Uttar Pradesh was cancelled at the last moment.

According to police, the incident occurred around 9 am outside Nirma Limited Chemical Plant at Kala Talav area on the outskirts of Bhavnagar when a bus carrying 50 migrant workers of Nirma Limited was returning from Bhavnagar railway station. The workers were earlier ferried to the Bhavnagar railway station around 6 am, after reports of a special train being arranged for UP workers surfaced.

Police said after the train was cancelled at the last minute, the workers became agitated and damaged the window shields of the bus. A few workers also threw the bus in a ditch near the factory plant and created unrest after which local police stepped in.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Gaurang Makwana, collector of Bhavnagar, said that the train got cancelled at the last moment because the Uttar Pradesh government didn’t respond to Gujarat government’s message.

“It was a small incident which occurred due to miscommunication. We had sought permission from the UP government regarding the train journey but we hadn’t received it yet. Hopefully by Monday night or Tuesday morning, we will be able to receive permission after which the workers can be sent home as per procedure,” said Makwana.

“A few trains were supposed to leave Bhavnagar railway station on Monday but they got cancelled at the last minute. When the workers were taken back to the factory site, they somehow got news that they were not allowed to leave for their home state. Agitated, the workers vandalised the bus. We have booked and arrested 10 of them under Indian Penal Code Section 147 of rioting,” said Jaypalsinh Rathore, Superintendent of Police, Bhavnagar.

Although no official of Nirma Limited could be reached for a comment, a staff worker present at the factory site said on the condition of anonymity, “The workers of Nirma plant have been living in a colony adjacent to the factory for the past 50 days and of late, their registration and medical check up process was initiated. However, when the train got cancelled, a few of them thought that they are being stopped in Bhavnagar in order to resume work since lockdown is supposed to end in the next four days. That message triggered the attack.”

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