Hundreds of migrant workers came out on roads and vandalised the office of an under-construction building and some vehicles in an area of Gujarat's Surat district on Tuesday while demanding that they be sent back to their native places, police said.
The workers were earlier hired by contractors engaged in the construction of the Diamond Bourse Complex in Khajod area of Surat, they said.
It all started when the workers learnt that their contractors have brought in more labourers from other parts of Gujarat to speed up the construction work after getting approval of the district collector, Deputy Commissioner of Police (zone-3) Vidhi Chaudhari said.
"They got angry after seeing labourers from outside at the site. They claimed that these outsiders may be carrying coronavirus. These workers then started demanding that if permission can be granted to bring outsiders here, then why can't they travel to their native places. This demand triggered the violence," Chaudhari said.
The angry workers damaged the administrative office of the under-construction site and two cars parked near the office, she said. "We have started the process to lodge an FIR in this connection," the official said.
Earlier, in a separate incident in the morning, a policeman was injured when some locals allegedly threw stones at the security personnel who were trying to enforce lockdown in Dindoli area of Surat city, Deputy Commissioner of Police (zone-1) RP Barot said. Five persons were detained for the attack on the policemen, he said.
Some locals got angry after a PCR (police control room) van reached a locality in Dindoli to enforce the lockdown in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, he said.
"We sent a PCR van in the area after coming to know that people were roaming around and not adhering to the lockdown norms. When the police asked locals to stay indoors, some of them got angry and started throwing stones at the policemen," Barot said.
A police personnel received injuries in the incident, he said. Five locals were detained, he said, adding that additional force was sent to the area and the situation was brought under control.