Movt of Migrant Workers Due to Panic Created by Fake News: Centre

The Home Ministry’s written answer came in response to a set of questions asked by a TMC MP in the Lok Sabha.

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India
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The migration of large number of migrant workers was triggered by panic created by fake news regarding the duration of lockdown, the Centre said on Tuesday, 15 September, in a written response to a question by Trinamool Congress MP Mala Roy in the Lok Sabha.

The TMC MP had asked about the steps taken to protect migrant labourers before the lockdown was announced, the reasons why thousands of labourers ended up walking home after it came into effect, and the number of those who died on the way home.

"The migration of large number of migrant workers was triggered by panic created by fake news regarding duration of lockdown, and people, especially migrant labourers, were worried about adequate supply of basic necessities like food, drinking water, health services and shelter. However, the Central government was fully conscious of this, and took all necessary measures to ensure that during the period of the inevitable lockdown, no citizen should be deprived of basic amenities of food, drinking water, medical facilities, etc," the answer by Minister of State (MoS), Home Ministry, Nityanand Rai, read.

‘Details Regarding Migrant Workers’ Deaths Not Centrally Maintained’

Rai pointed out that the Centre allowed state governments to use the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) on 28 March for provisions to migrant workers and the homeless, adding that it also released an advance of Rs 11,092 crores from the SDRF to the states on 3 April.

He also said that control room operations in the MHA were expanded from 21 March and they addressed the grievances of those who were stranded, including migrant workers.

“The details regarding number of migrant workers who died while returning to their home states is not centrally maintained,” the minister further stated in his reply.

The reply comes a day after the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment told the Parliament that it has no data available on the number of migrant workers who lost their lives during the nationwide lockdown.

The ministry also added that since no such data was maintained, there was no question of giving compensation to the victims’ next of kin.

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