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Failing to get ration, UP migrant hangs self in Ludhiana

Police, however, say some personal problems prompted him to end his life.
Hindustan Times, Ludhiana | By HT Correspondent, Ludhiana
UPDATED ON MAY 11, 2020 02:34 AM IST
Migrant workers protesting against the police after a labourer from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh committed suicide in Ludhiana on Sunday.(Gurpreet Singh)

A 38-year-old migrant from Uttar Pradesh ended his life in Ludhiana by hanging himself with a grill of a skylight at his rented accommodation on Saturday. While the victim’s kin say he ended his life as he was unable to arrange ration for his family, police said some personal problems prompted him to take the extreme step.

The incident occurred late on Saturday night when the victim’s wife and two children were sleeping outside their room. His wife said they had nothing at home to eat and had been borrowing groceries and money from their neighbours to meet their daily needs. The victim’s son said the 38-year-old had registered himself on the administration’s helpline number (1905) for ration but to no avail.

The victim had also queued up for ration outside Focal Point police station on Saturday, but returned empty handed, his son added.

Meanwhile, around 500 labourers gathered in the colony and staged a protest against the police, district administration and Punjab government, alleging no transparency in ration distribution. They claimed that ration is not reaching the needy.

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Additional deputy commissioner of police (ADCP, city 4) Ajinder Singh said the allegations of not getting ration were baseless, but the police were investigating the case from all aspects. “Ration distribution process is totally transparent. Due to space constraint in the police station, we have chosen a ground to distribute ration among the needy,” he said.

Earlier on May 3, around 250 migrant labourers living in Sherpur, Dhandhari, Focal Point and nearby areas had blocked National Highway near Dhandari, alleging that they were not getting ration. They had also pelted stones and damaged at least 10 vehicles.

Former UP minister says migrants being ignored

Reacting over the incident, former cabinet minister in Akhilesh Yadav government, Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, said labourers working in Ludhiana are not getting ration and he had received many complaints in this regard.

He said only migrant labourers are facing problem, while the locals are being provided ration.

“I don’t say the Punjab government and administration are not providing ration to labourers, but the distribution system is not correct. The government should take care of migrants for another 10 to 12 days, after which all labourers will be brought home,” said Ramoowalia.

“Punjab should also speed up the process of sending migrants to their native places. I do not doubt the intention of the government, but it needs more determination. If the government is really committed to controlling the spread of Covid-19, it should make all necessary arrangements and facilitate their transportation,” he added.

RK Yadav, general secretary, Punjab, Samajwadi Party, and TR Mishra, chairman of Purvanchal Party, said that they had also raised the issue of discrepancies in ration distribution multiple times, but nothing was done.

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