The Indore Police intercepted a cement mixer near Ujjain on Saturday to find it was transporting 18 people, including 14 migrant labourers, from Maharashtra to Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh amid the nationwide lockdown. A viral video showed workers emerging from a small hole along with their backpacks from the side of the mixer.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (Traffic) Umakant Chaudhary said the vehicle was seized and the workers shifted to a quarantine facility, where they would be screened for coronavirus.
“During the routine check-up at Panth Piplai village, about 35 kms from Indore, we stopped a truck laden with a cement on suspicion. After opening the lid, we found 18 people inside,” Traffic Police sub inspector Amit Kumar Yadav told news agency PTI.
“They all were sent to a shelter for medical examination. A bus is also being arranged to send them to Uttar Pradesh,” Yadav added.
Among the 18 were four employees of the truck owner.
An FIR was registered against the truck driver under relevant Sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The migrants had reportedly left Maharashtra on Friday, the same day the Centre eased restrictions on movement of labourers. At least six special passenger trains, named ‘Shramik Special’. ran across the country Friday to take home workers. From Maharashtra, one train departed from Nashik on Friday and headed for Bhopal. Another left for Lucknow on Saturday.
(With inputs from PTI)