Over 50 migrant workers who tried to get back home — some in a truck, others in an SUV they hired using their savings — were stopped by police Friday.
With the lockdown extended till May 4, many of them have been evicted from their homes, and are struggling to stay afloat. Police have increased picket deployment to prevent another exodus.
At the Okhla T-point, a truck with 37 labourers was intercepted. Police said a man called Brijesh was taking the labourers to Haryana for construction work.
DCP (Southeast) R P Meena said, “The truck was from Haryana. A contractor had picked them up from Okhla Mandi and Chattarpur and was taking them to Palwal Mandi. We stopped the truck and sent everyone to shelter homes.”
In South Delhi, a group of seven, including three women and a baby, were spotted walking near Barapullah flyover. The labourers said they were kicked out of their house in Janakpuri by their landlord.
“We found that the landlord is a head constable at a Delhi jail. We contacted him and told him to take the labourers back. We gave them ration and water and dropped them home,” said DCP (South) Atul Kumar Thakur.
At South Extension, seven migrants heading to Bihar’s Vaishali in an SUV were stopped by police. The men had hired the vehicle for Rs 37,000.
“They said they worked at construction sites and now have no income. Unable to pay rent or buy food, they decided to go back to Bihar. They paid the driver Rs 7,000 from their savings and promised to pay the rest later. We told them to go back home but they said they don’t have money. We sent them to shelter homes,” said a senior officer.
Police said cases have been registered against the workers under sections of the IPC and the Epidemic Act.
Many of them miss their families. Vivek (22), a construction worker who lives in Labour Colony, said: “Our contractor helps us with food sometimes and NGOs come here, but we mostly have to walk miles to get food. My parents call every day, they are worried about me.”
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