A day after two incidents of violence involving migrant workers at Dindoli and Khajodand in Surat, there was minor scuffle again over them crowding outside a BJP MP’s office on Udhna Magdalla road in the city on Wednesday morning.
According to police, a large number of migrant workers hailing from Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Rajasthan working in different textile factories in Surat, reached BJP MP CR Patil’s office on Wednesday to register their names on the online portal of their home state government.
They were standing in queues and groups since 6 am when local passers-by informed police about crowding in the area, flouting social distancing norms. Khatodara police reached the spot and asked the migrant workers to stand in queue maintaining distance. A heated argument took place between police personnel and migrant workers, prompting the police to drive them away from the area.
Later, police asked the workers to wear masks and allowed them to stand in queue, maintaining one metre distance between them. The workers were waiting since 6 am but the staff of the MP’s office started taking their details to fill the online forms only from 11 am.
Khatodara police inspector KB Zala said, “We got information from a local resident that people were standing in groups outside BJP MP CR Patil’s office. We reached the spot and tried to convince them about maintaining distance but they protested… we had to use minor force to control them and drive them out of the area. Later we allowed them to stand in queue, maintaining social distance.”
Patil had arranged four luxury buses to ferry migrant workers from Surat to Odisha and UP. Hundreds of migrant workers were hopeful that his office would help them reach their home state.
CR Patil, MP from Navsari seat, said, “There was some issue outside my office in the morning… police brought the situation under control. We also appealed people to wear mask and maintain social distancing.”
Sushil Behra (25) from Ganjam district in Odisha said, “For the past one month, we were at home with no work, battling COVID-19 fear. We are running short of money and we are also facing food shortage. We want to go back to our home state, and are hopeful that BJP leader CR Patil would help us.”
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