Political Blame Game Breaks Out after Migrant Workers Protest at Mumbai Bus Stand during Lockdown

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A political blame sport broke out on Tuesday between the Maharashtra ruling events and the BJP-led central authorities after greater than a thousand migrant workers gathered in Mumbai demanding transport preparations to return to their native locations. The large gathering got here hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi introduced an extension of the coronavirus-enforced lockdown until May 3.

In viral movies, the police had been seen utilizing canes to disperse the migrants who had gathered close to the Bandra railway station in suburban Mumbai. Later, an FIR was registered in opposition to at least a thousand of those staff for inflicting a public well being scare and assembling at one place in defiance of the lockdown. An individual recognized as Vinay Dubey was taken into custody by the Navi Mumbai Police for mobilising the group and spreading rumours.

In an identical protest, a whole lot of migrant staff took to the streets of Mumbra in Thane district, demanding they be despatched to their hometowns. The staff, principally from Jharkhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh and dwelling in rented lodging, claimed that houseowners had been demanding hire from them and that they had been unable to acquire necessities.

Daily-wage staff have been rendered jobless because the lockdown was introduced late final month. Although authorities and NGOs have made preparations for meals, most of them need to return to their native locations to flee the hardship introduced by the sweeping curbs.

Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh mentioned staff who had gathered exterior the railway station might need anticipated Modi to order the reopening of state borders. He mentioned the migrants had been assured that the state authorities would make association of meals and lodging for them, following which the crowds dispersed.

Deshmukh later ordered a probe to search out out who unfold the hearsay that trains will likely be run to take migrant staff again to their states. “Those found guilty of sparking such rumours will be dealt severely invoking the fullest force of law,” he mentioned in a tweet.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, who spoke to Union Home Minister Amit Shah on the difficulty, additionally reassured the employees and mentioned that the lockdown will not be a “lock-up”, interesting to them to face the “challenge” of the pandemic by staying again.

During his dialog with Thackeray, Shah expressed concern over the gathering, stressing that such occasions weaken the nation’s combat in opposition to coronavirus and the administration wants to remain vigilant to keep away from such incidents.

Thackeray mentioned his authorities is not going to permit anyone to play with the emotions of poor migrant staff and disturb the regulation and order state of affairs within the state. “I will not let the situation go out of control,” he mentioned, including that the culprits will likely be punished.

Aaditya criticises central authorities

In a collection of tweets after the gathering got here to gentle, Maharashtra Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray blamed the Centre for the protest and sought a roadmap to facilitate the migrant staff’ journey again to their native locations.

Thackeray mentioned the state of affairs in Bandra, and even the rioting in Surat earlier, “is a results of the Union authorities not with the ability to take a name on arranging a approach again dwelling for migrant labour”.

“They don’t desire meals or shelter, they need to return dwelling,” he said. “Many are refusing to eat or keep in these camps.”

Thackeray mentioned greater than six lakh individuals are at the moment housed in numerous shelter camps throughout the state.

Striking a conciliatory tone later, Thackeray thanked the Centre for taking speedy cognizance of the difficulty and for actively helping the state. “We perceive the catch-22 state of affairs the Centre and states face,” he mentioned. “I am thankful to the PM and the Home Minister for understanding the situation while trying to ensure the safety of the home states of migrants.”

BJP leaders slam state authorities

Former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis blamed the Shiv Sena-led state authorities, terming the protest as a “very critical” incident. He mentioned it was the accountability of the state authorities to rearrange for correct meals for the employees, however that had not occurred.

The Leader of Opposition mentioned the state authorities ought to be taught a lesson from this incident and take care that such incidents don’t recur.

“But it’s unlucky that the Centre is being blamed in such a state of affairs to flee (from the accountability). The combat in opposition to corona (virus) will not be political, please be aware this at least now. It is my earnest request that we combat this battle critically,” he mentioned.

Another BJP chief Kirit Somaiya targetted the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, describing the incident as an intelligence failure and questioning how so many individuals had gathered exterior the station and what the intelligence wing was doing.

However, NCP chief Nawab Malik mentioned the chief minister had been demanding that the Centre make preparations for the migrant staff to return to their native states, however the NDA authorities didn’t permit it.

“Migrant staff had been demanding to go to their villages and therefore the group. It is alleged someone circulated a message {that a} practice is to depart (for the house states of the migrant staff)…if anybody has certainly circulated such a message, will probably be probed into,” Malik mentioned.

Senior Congress chief Anand Sharma appealed to Modi and the chief ministers of states to enhance the situation of migrant labourers and day by day wage-workers.

“Heart-rending to see the plight of migrant labour and staff — ravenous kids, hungry women and men, desperately ready for meals and reduction. This inhumane remedy of our poor countrymen is a disgrace and blot on Indian democracy,” he said on Twitter. “Appealing to the Prime Minister and Chief Ministers and the administration, give them again their dignity and rights. Give them roti (meals), not lathi (violence). This repression is an unforgivable crime in opposition to humanity.”

(With inputs from PTI)

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