Several migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Odisha working at Surat’s Hazira industrial belt came on to the streets in Mora village, demanding that they be sent back to their home states, and clashed with the police.
The migrants pelted stones at the police personnel who resorted to lathi charge and fired tear gas to disperse the mob. About 100 workers were detained in this connection. Two police men suffered minor injuries in the stone pelting incident.
The coastal belt of Hazira houses several multinational companies employing migrant workers who are on contract and live in rented rooms in Mora village. Even during the lockdown, many multinational companies had continued production with the available staffers.
Seeing several migrants being ferried to their home states by trains and buses, the migrants employed in Hazira also demanded to go home and came out in large numbers. Police officials said when they tried stopping them, the migrants started pelting stones.
When the migrants did not stop despite several warnings, police lobbed five tear gas shells and also charged with lathis. A complaint was lodged against the migrants at the Ichhapore police station regarding rioting and attack on police, damage to public property and also under Epidemic Diseases Act.
Joint police commissioner DN Patel said, “These migrant workers are from Jharkhand, Bihar and UP and some from Odisha and they wanted to go back to their home state. Our personnel explained to them peacefully but they did not co-operate and pelted stones on police. We have brought the situation under control and have detained 100 people. As per the guidelines, medical examination of all the arrested migrants will be done and those who are found symptomatic, Covid-19 test will also be done. Two police men had incurred minor injuries in the stone pelting incident and they are under medication.”
Surat has seen four such migrant outbursts since the imposition of the first lockdown in March this year.