Nearly 100 migrant workers in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad city on Monday came out on a busy road, demanding that they be allowed to return to their hometowns amid the extended nationwide lockdown to rein in the coronavirus pandemic, PTI reported.
The police used teargas to disperse the workers after they reportedly pelted stones at the personnel and those passing by in vehicles. The incident took place on a road connecting the Indian Institute of Technology’s Ahmedabad campus with Vastrapur area in the city.
Several migrant workers were also detained by the police, an official from the city’s police control room told the news agency. He added that an operation was underway at a labourers’ settlement to find the remaining suspects involved in the protest.
“Nearly 100 migrants suddenly came on the road in the morning and engaged in indiscriminate stone-pelting,” the official said.
A similar incident took place on May 9 and May 4 in Gujarat’s Surat district. Earlier on April 28,hundreds of workers vandalised the office of a construction site in the city after the contractors allegedly brought in more labourers from other parts of Gujarat to pace up the work. The workers said that if others could be allowed to come to Surat for construction, they should be allowed to return home.
The nationwide lockdown put in place during the coronavirus pandemic started on March 25 and has now been extended till May 31.
With no work and depleted resources, many migrants, attempting to return to their hometowns, have set out on gruelling journeys on foot, cycles, or any other means of transport they could find. Some also died on their way while a few others died in accidents. Last month, the Centre arranged for the movement of migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students by Shramik Special trains to be operated by the railways during the lockdown.