Tension prevailed at the Indian Institute of Technology Hyderabad in Sangareddy district on Wednesday as over 1,500 agitated migrant workers resorted to an attack on the police and damaged their vehicle.
The workers allegedly pelted stones at the police. A video of lathi-wielding workers damaging the police vehicle has emerged.
The workers demanded that they be sent back to their native place. These workers, hailing from Odisha, Bihar and Madhya Pradesh, are employed in the construction of buildings at IIT.
Owing to the nationwide lockdown, they have been held up on campus. The IIT is in its second phase of construction. The workers alleged that they have been starving for nearly two weeks and claimed that L&T the company which hired them didn't pay them wages.
Some of the workers from Madhya Pradesh, reportedly contacted their Member of Parliament complaining about the situation. However, there has been no response.
Infuriated over the police forcibly holding them up, the workers resorted to violence. As the crowd turned violent, additional police forces were rushed to the spot.
Speaking to TNM, a police official said that they were overseeing the situation and senior officers were holding discussions with the workers, asking them to remain calm.
Sangareddy Superintendent of Police, S Chandrashekar Reddy and DSP, Sridhar Reddy deliberated with the workers for over an hour. After a discussion with the workers, the SP suggested them to send six persons from their group and give representation to the District Collector.
The incident took place a day after similar violence was reported in Surat, Gujarat. On Wednesday, hundreds of workers being held up at an under-construction site pelted stones and damaged glass panes of the buildings. The workers demanded that they be allowed to return home. As the protest turned violent, police were called in.
Scores of migrant workers in Telangana, from north and central India, are leaving the state in violation of the lockdown, as they are growing impatient with the lockdown. Though the Telangana government has announced Rs 1,200 per family, Rs 500 per person and 12 kg rice as a welfare measure for migrant labourers, the workers are growing restless.
(Republished in an arrangement with The News Minute)