Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha and Aam Aadmi Party leaders Sanjay Singh and Dilip Pandey were on Monday detained by the Delhi Police after they staged a protest demanding deployment of the armed forces to help migrant workers reach their homes amid the ongoing nationwide lockdown to combat the coronavirus.
“We have just been arrested by the Delhi Police,” a tweet from Sinha’s official handle read.
Sinha staged a dharna at the Rajghat along with the AAP leaders in the morning. The leaders accused the Centre of failing migrant workers and demanded proper arrangements be made to send them home.
“I have started a dharna today from 11 AM at Rajghat, Delhi to demand the deployment of armed forces and para military forces to take the migrant workers home with dignity, instead of beating them up and leaving them to die on the road,” Sinha had tweeted earlier in the day. The former minister had added that he would continue with his dharma until his demands were met.
AAP’s Sanjay Singh, meanwhile, alleged that the government had left helpless migrant workers to fend for themselves. “The government has no strategy because it has no will to help the migrants,” he said, according to PTI. “The BJP is an anti-poor government. You can call people from abroad but not help the migrants walking on the streets. The ongoing crisis has proved that,” he said
Pandey accused the government of not utilising its full capacity to help the stranded migrants. “The government has capacity to run 20,000 trains daily and ferry 2.3 crore people daily across the country,” he said. “It should use this capacity to help people.”
The Centre has been fiercely criticised for the plight of migrant workers, who continue to make desperate journeys home on foot or holed up in trucks. Heart-rending videos and pictures have emerged of hordes of migrants walking barefoot in the searing hit, carrying their children and elderly parents. Several migrant workers have been killed in accidents on their way.