Migrant workers in Uttar Pradesh staged protests by blocking a highway in Mathura on Sunday morning after authorities stopped them from walking to their hometown amid the Covid-19 lockdown.
Around 2,500 workers demonstrated by burning tyres and stopping all movement in Farah village, claiming that no facilities were given after they were stopped from walking to their villages by the administration.
After the news of protest reached the district administration, the District Magistrate, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) and personnel rushed to the spot and tried to calm the migrants.
SSP Mathura Gaurav Grover said, “A large number of migrants came together and blocked the highways. After negotiations, provisions for food and transport were arranged and they left in trucks for their respective destinations.”
The incident took place hours after similar protests were seen on the Uttar Pradesh-Madhya Pradesh border in Jhansi. The situation turned violent after police resorted to lathi-charge on the group of migrant workers.
After the Auraiya road accident on Saturday in which 24 migrants were killed and several injured, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath instructed all field officers to ensure that stop migrant workers from unauthorized travelling on the highways.
Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Awanish Kumar Awasthi asked people to use the ‘Shramik’ trains facilities by Uttar Pradesh government instead.
“The Chief Minister has directed all police officers to provide migrants with food and water and do routine checks at the borders. They should be screened and then transported to their home in a safe and dignified manner,” he said.
Over 200 buses are positioned at the state borders. Additional arrangements have been made in all the districts of the border, the official said.