Updated: May 9, 2020 1:17:31 pm
Union Home Minister Amit Shah Saturday accused the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government of not allowing trains with migrant workers to reach the state that may further create hardship for the labourers. Follow coronavirus outbreak LIVE updates
In a letter to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Amit Shah said, “Migrants from West Bengal are eager to reach home, but we are not getting expected support from the state.” The home minister added that West Bengal is not allowing trains. “This is injustice with the migrant labourers. This will create further hardship for them,” he added.
Referring to the ‘Shramik Special’ trains that are being operated by the Centre to facilitate transport of migrant workers from different parts of the country to various destinations, Shah said in the letter that the Centre has facilitated more than two lakh migrants workers to reach home. Read in Malayalam | Bengali
Home Minister Amit Shah writes to West Bengal : Migrants from WB are eager to reach home but we are not getting expected support from WB.
West Bengal is not allowing trains.
This is injustice with WB migrant labourers. This will create further hardship for them. @IndianExpress
— Deeptiman Tiwary (@DeeptimanTY) May 9, 2020
Hitting out at to Amit Shah, Trinamool Congress leader Abhishek Banerjee asked the home minister to either prove his allegations or apologise. “Amit Shah speaks after weeks of silence only to mislead people with lies. Prove allegations or apologise,” news agency PTI said quoting Banerjee.
Meanwhile, the Union Home Ministry on Wednesday slammed the state government for not enforcing Covid-19 containment measures effectively, allowing “specific groups in specific localities” in Kolkata and Howrah to violate the curbs as well as attack police and healthcare workers.
In his letter to West Bengal, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla flagged the plying of rickshaws, children playing cricket, and people bathing in rivers among the violations.
A letter on Monday by Additional Secretary Apurva Chandra, who headed the IMCT sent to Kolkata and Howrah, had made no mention of any “specific group” violating the lockdown guidelines. In the letter sent to West Bengal Chief Secretary Rajiva Sinha at the end of the tour — in what he called his “final observations” — Chandra had, however, flagged many shortcomings in the state’s healthcare apparatus.
In his letter to Sinha on Wednesday, Bhalla said, “Lockdown violations have been noted in the cities of Kolkata and Howrah by specific groups in specific localities with media reports of the ‘corona warriors’ including even the police being attacked in such localities. This necessitates stricter enforcement of lockdown by enhancing police presence. Instances of problems faced due to ostracism of health care professionals and lack of quarantine facilities is also worrying.”
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