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Desperate to Return Home, Thousands of Migrants Come Out on Streets in Ahmedabad and Surat

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

While more than 1,000 migrant workers carrying luggage gathered in Nikol area in Ahmedabad following a rumour that buses would be run for Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, several others came on streets in Varachha area of Surat city.

Scores of migrant workers, desperate to travel back to their native states amidst the coronavirus-induced lockdown, on Tuesday came out on streets in Ahmedabad and Surat in Gujarat, officials said.

While more than 1,000 migrant workers carrying luggage gathered in Nikol area in Ahmedabad following a rumour that buses would be run for Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, several others came on streets in Varachha area of Surat city.

In Ahmedabad, it took almost two hours for local police to persuade the migrants to vacate the busy crossroad near Ajit Mill police chowky.

"Migrants carrying their luggage started gathering in Nikol area since this morning following a rumour that buses would leave for their states from here, which was not true. We convinced them to go home as no bus would leave from here," said Odhav police inspector R G Jadeja.

He said police asked the migrants not to believe in such rumours.

"We asked them to approach the Collector's office to get themselves registered for the inter-state travel," he said.

In Surat, police helped the migrants fill the mandatory application forms for inter-state travel through trains.

A total of 23 Shramik Special trains carrying around 28,000 migrant workers had left various stations of Gujarat since May 2 to Tuesday morning, a state government release said.

Additional Chief Secretary, Labour and Employment department, Vipul Mitra said a dozen more special trains were planned for the day to ferry over 14,000 migrants from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha and Jharkhand.

Mitra is Gujarat's nodal officer to facilitate transportation of migrant workers, tourists, pilgrims, students, and others to their native states by trains.

He said authorities are mulling to increase the number of the special trains to 20 per day in a couple of days. Each train can ferry 1,200 persons.

On Monday, migrant workers had pelted police with stones in Surat district, leaving nearly a dozen personnel injured.

Several labourers had also came out on a road in Rajkot demanding that they be sent back to their hometowns, while some migrant workers got their heads tonsured in an area of Surat after being unable to go back home.

first published:May 05, 2020, 20:06 IST