Violence erupted in Gujarat's Rajkot on Sunday, 17 May, as a group of migrant workers pelted stones and vandalised vehicles on a national highway in the Shapar area, leaving four policemen and a journalist injured.
The incident purportedly took place over 'shramik' trains being rescheduled and as many as 29 people were arrested.
Among those injured was the Superintendent of Police, Rajkot Rural, Balram Meena. He later said an FIR was registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for rioting, voluntarily causing hurt and for attempt to commit culpable homicide, reported PTI.
"While some understood that the trains were rescheduled, others misunderstood that it had been cancelled... Majority of the workers who had assembled were calm and only a few indulged in violence. Therefore, police used reasonable amount of force and the mob was dispersed in 15 to 20 minutes," Deputy Inspector General of Police, Rajkot range, Sandeep Singh was quoted by The Indian Express as saying regarding the incident.
However, Divisional Railway Manager, Rajkot, Parmeshwar Funkwal said that Western Railway Rajkot Division had not cancelled or rescheduled any train on Sunday. "All the trains requested by District Administration have been scheduled and dispatched without any exceptions," he was quoted by news agency ANI as saying.
Thousands of migrant workers have been left stranded ever since the lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus came into effect on 25 March. Many of them have tried to walk back home in the face of no public transport. The Centre allowed the operation of special ‘shramik’ trains only recently to take them back to their native states.