The Delhi government Friday directed the complete sealing of inter-state borders, citing “intelligence inputs” that attempts are likely to be made to “incite and provoke” stranded migrant workers, amid talks with other states over sending them back.
Separately, the government also appointed 12 nodal officers for coordinating movement of stranded workers, students and pilgrims in accordance with directions of the Ministry of Home Affairs. The officers will coordinate with other state governments in this regard.
“Certain intelligence inputs have been received that in view of the aforesaid order of MHA (on movement of migrants), certain anti-social elements may try to incite and provoke the stranded persons, particularly migrant workers in the undesirable hope of creating some tensions and conflict besides attempting to violate the lockdown measures, which shall have devastating consequences in the fight against COVID-19 disease,” the order issued by Chief Secretary Vijay Dev said.
A senior official said the order has been issued to prevent a repeat of last month, when thousands of workers had gathered in places such as the Anand Vihar Bus Terminal, demanding arrangements to go back to their native places. “Since the details of the plan to transport them back are still being worked out, this order has been issued to prevent any possible chaos,” the official added.
Accordingly, Dev, in his capacity as chairperson of the state executive committee on corona prevention, directed the Delhi Police Commissioner and district magistrates to take all necessary measures to prevent any unlawful assembly of people.
“Adequate number of pickets should be set up in all areas where migrant workers are residing to prevent their movement. The inter-state borders must be completely sealed and a strict vigil should be maintained on inter-state movement of goods carriers too, lest they become a vehicle for illegal transportation of stranded persons.
“Any vehicle found transporting stranded persons should be impounded and strict punitive action as per law should be taken against violators. It should be ensured that no movement of such stranded persons should be allowed at the inter-state borders without following the protocol prescribed by the MHA and GNCTD,” the order states.
The Delhi Police special commissioner (intelligence), special commissioners (law and order) have also been directed to gather intelligence from all “corners of Delhi and inter-state borders” on movement of migrant labourers, tourists and pilgrims.
Meanwhile, on Friday, police registered a case against a man who allegedly spread rumours about inter-state travel facilities in Shahdara.