Lockdown 3.0: Pandemonium after migrant workers gather for ‘registration’
Pandemonium ensued at a government school in village Khoh, IMT Manesar, after hundreds of migrant workers allegedly assembled there to register themselves for the interstate movement to their respective native states on Sunday morning. The administration officials, however, denied that any such registration process was being conducted at the spot. The police said no persons were injured as a team of at least 20 policemen was rushed to the area to disperse the crowd to prevent a law and order situation.
According to the police, the incident took place on Sunday morning near at a government school, where a large crowd of migrant population had lined up to collect food being distributed by the district administration.
Deepak Saharan, deputy commissioner of police (DCP), Manesar, said, “In addition to people who had lined up for the food, many migrant workers arrived at the spot after they received information that registration for returning to their native states was being conducted. To avoid a law and order situation, a team from IMT Manesar police station was rushed to the spot to disperse the crowd since the area is quite congested. No persons were injured and the situation is under control. Legal action would be taken against people who violated the guidelines of lockdown and social distancing.”
In a video that surfaced online, scores of migrant workers could be seen running out of a premises, where they had lined up to collect food, as police sirens blared in the background.
Rajender Singh, sarpanch, village Khoh, said that around 10.30 am, he received information that a huge crowd of migrant workers had assembled near a government school. “Some rumours had circulated that forms are being filled for registration of migrant workers so they could return to their native states, following which at least 2000 migrants assembled. I informed the police and the situation was sorted out,” said Singh.
Bijender Rana, tehsildar, Manesar, denied that the administration was conducting any registration process at the spot.
“The authenticity of the alleged video is being verified. The migrant workers are provided food at the concerned school on a daily basis. I am not aware of any rumours regarding filing up of forms for interstate movement of migrants,” he said.
On Saturday, the Haryana government had launched an online portal for online registration of migrant workers and stranded persons, who wished to return to their home states. The government had said that the migrants would have to register themselves on a webpage or register through a mobile application (Jan Sahayak Help me) from Google Playstore. Additionally, if any migrant worker does not have access to the above two and is stuck in Haryana, he/she may take assistance from the district administration by dialling 1950 or call centre number 1100, the officials had said.
According to preliminary estimates, lakhs of migrant workers are stuck in the state due to the nationwide lockdown imposed to contain the Covid-19 spread. On Saturday, the chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar had appealed to the migrant labourers to remain in the state and not return to their native villages as several industries were going to resume operations in coming days.