Hundreds reached Mumbai’s Bandra railway station to go home; lathicharged

Hindustan Times, Mumbai | ByAroosa Ahmed
Apr 14, 2020 08:32 PM IST

The huge crowd of migrant workers at Mumbai’s Bandra railway station prompted Maharashtra minister Aditya Thackeray to attack the Centre for not accepting its demand to send the workers home.

In a replay of scenes at Delhi’s border with Uttar Pradesh last month, hundreds of migrant workers gathered outside Bandra West railway station on Tuesday evening to demand that the railways run trains to take them home. The migrant workers, who defied the lockdown to reach the railway station, were eventually dispersed by the police after a lathicharge was ordered.

Mumbai Police dispersed the crowd of hundreds of migrant workers who were demanding that the railways run trains to take them home(Screenshot/sourced)
Mumbai Police dispersed the crowd of hundreds of migrant workers who were demanding that the railways run trains to take them home(Screenshot/sourced)

“The workers were protesting against extension of the lockdown, saying they do not have access to food and other essentials,” said a western railway official who was present outside the railway station.

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Watch | Mumbai: Wave of migrant workers swamps Bandra station after lockdown extension 

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Scores of police personnel, who were rushed to the railway station to augment the strength, however, prevented them from entering the station premises. Police resorted to lathi charge to disperse the crowd outside the station.

“The city police tried to convince the workers to move from the area but they did not relent… The crowd only dispersed after lathi charge,” added the railway official.

Maharashtra minister Aaditya Thackeray took to social media to announce that the crowd had been dispersed but also took a swipe at the central government.

Thackeray said the migrant workers wanted to go back to their hometowns and many were refusing to eat and stay in labour camps.

“The current situation at Bandra Station, now dispersed or even the rioting in Surat is a result of the Union Government not being able to take a call on arranging a way back home for migrant labour. They don’t want food or shelter, they want to go back home.” tweeted Aditya Thackeray.

Also read | 43 Covid-19 cases, 4 deaths: How coronavirus spread in Dharavi has kept authorities on toes

Thackeray also reiterated the state government’s demand to operate trains for 24 hours for migrant labourers.

“Right from the day the trains have been shut down, the State had requested trains to run for 24 hours more so that migrant labour could go back home. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray raised this issue in the PM- CM video conference as well requesting a roadmap for migrant labour to reach home,” he said.

Thackeray said a mutual road map set by the union government will largely help migrant labour to reach home from one state to another safely and efficiently. Time and again this issue has been raised with the centre. The law and order situation in Surat, Gujarat, largely has been seen as a similar situation and the feedback from all migrant labour camps is similar. Many are refusing to eat or stay in. Currently more than 6 lakh people are housed in various shelter camps across Maharashtra.” tweeted Thackeray

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