Migrant workers headed on foot towards their native places in different parts of Uttar Pradesh hit a hurdle at Ghazipur near the Delhi-UP border late on Saturday night.
Pinky, one of the migrants said, "We have come from Gurugram and we are going to Hardoi in UP. I don't know how we'll reach home as police is not allowing us to move forward".
Another worker Ram Babu said "I have been walking from Swaroop Nagar and we have been stopped by police here. My landlord verbally abused me and asked us for rent as it was pending for two months. We have no money to get ration, so we felt it was better to leave."
A woman in the group said "They are asking us to go back. They are demanding a pass, what should we do?"
On Friday, Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla wrote to Chief Secretaries of all states and Union Territories (UTs), directing them to ensure that there is no movement of migrant workers on roads and railway tracks, and facilitate their movement through special buses or Shramik special trains.
In the letter, the Chief Secretary had said that migrant workers should be appropriately counselled and taken to nearby shelters and provided with food and water till such time they are facilitated to board the Sharmik special trains or buses to their native places.
He had said as the movement of migrant workers walking on roads, railway tracks and travelling in trucks is still being noticed in different parts of the country, it is now the responsibility of all states and Union Territories to ensure that movement of stranded migrant workers who are willing to go to their home states is facilitated.
"States/UTs should widely disseminate the arrangements for travel in special buses/Shramik' special trains amongst the migrant workers and persuade/counsel them that they should not be walking when they can travel in buses/trains," he said in the letter.
Bhalla said that with the cooperation of states/UTs, the Railways Ministry is running more than 100 Shramik special trains per day and is "ready to arrange additional trains as per their requirement".