Hundreds of Migrants Gather in Hyderabad, Demand Ghar Wapsi
Senior police officials visited the spot and assured the migrant workers that they would be sent home.
Hundreds of migrant workers took to the streets in Hyderabad's Tolichowki area on Sunday, 3 May, demanding that they be sent back home.
The workers gathered near the Tolichowki flyover and said that they had been stuck in the city for over a month without any work and asked the state government to make arrangements to send them back to their native places in Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Bihar and Jharkhand.
They squatted on the roads even as a many police personnel rushed to the spot to pacify the crowd.
"We are living in cramped spaces. We were getting ration initially but the last few days, we have not been getting it properly. Even if the state can't arrange for food, please make arrangements to send us back home within one or two days," one of the protesting workers from Bihar told NTV.
“We were told to give our details to our local police station. We did that but we did not get any communication since then. We are having trouble with food and water,” another worker from Jharkhand added.
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao had promised 12 kg of free rice and Rs 500 for each person for every month that the lockdown lasts. Many of those who gathered alleged that the ration was not being supplied properly. Others claimed that they were still being asked to pay their rent, despite losing their means of livelihood.
The Telangana government had directed home owners to defer collecting rents for a period of three months from March to May. The amount could be collected in installments later, the state government had said.
The workers mainly stay under the jurisdiction of the Humayun Nagar, Banjara Hills and Golconda police stations, which are located a few kilometres from Hyderabad's IT sector. They were working on construction projects in the city before the lockdown was announced on 22 March in Telangana to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Senior police officials visited the spot and spoke to those who had gathered. They said that their details had been gathered and assured the migrant workers that they would be sent home.
"We assured them that the state government has already taken up the issue and is working out the details, whether to send them back by train or bus. We selected some of their representatives from each state. Once we get the instructions, we said that we will convey the instructions to them," Banjara Hills Station House Officer (SHO) R Kalinga Rao told reporters.
The police said that they had also taken note of the complaints that some people were not receiving ration and said that arrangements were being made accordingly. Following this, the crowd dispersed.
With the Centre allowing stranded people to go home during the lockdown, the Telangana government designated nodal officers earlier this week for the movement of stranded persons.
An online e-pass facility has also been made available for students and others who got stuck in the state due to the lockdown.
(This story has been published in an arrangement with The News Minute)
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