Coronavirus (COVID-19): Migrant labourers stranded across the country amidst a nationwide lockdown will not be allowed to go to their native places due to prohibition of rail, air, and road traffic till May 3 to control the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, the government said on Wednesday.
Replying to a media query on guidance provided by the government to migrant workers, Additional Secretary in the Home Ministry Govind Mohan said it is clear that movement of migrant labourers is not possible till end of the lockdown. He said that necessary facilities for migrant workers such as food and shelter camps have been made and states have been allowed to use State Disaster Relief Fund for this purpose.
This arrangement will have to continue till the end of lockdown, he added.
Uncertain over their future in locked-down cities, and fueled by rumours of special trains being deployed to send them homes, nearly 2000 migrants had gathered outside the suburban Bandra West station in Mumbai Tuesday, in violation of lockdown orders.
Many of them said they had been hoping that the 21-day lockdown, which was to end Tuesday, would be lifted — or that arrangements would be made to transport them to their homes in UP, Bihar and West Bengal. Migrants in few other states including Gujarat and Punjab too turned restless after the lockdown was extended.
The Indian Railways later issued a clarification saying no special trains are being run and all passenger trains remain suspended till the end of the lockdown period.
Subsequently, the Mumbai police today registered three FIRs. While the first FIR was registered against a crowd that had gathered near Bandra station, the second was against one Vinay Dubey who had put up a video on social media saying migrants should take to the streets. Another FIR was filed against ABP Correspondent Rahul Kulkarni for his news report railways will be running trains for migrants.
Earlier in the day, the Bombay High Court asked the Maharashtra government to consider if stranded migrant labourers can travel back home within the state after undergoing medical tests.
An increase of 1118 new cases since yesterday has been reported, with a total of 11,933 confirmed cases and 392 deaths for COVID-19 in the country, including 1343 persons who have been cured or discharged after recovery.
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