Clashes broke out between migrants workers protesting to be sent home and the police in Gujarat's Surat on Monday. According to reports, police had to resort to lathicharge to control the agitating crowd.
The workers have been demanding that trains should be arranged to ferry them to their homes in other states as the government extended the nationwide lockdown till May 17.
The clashes come a week after workers protested and pelted stones at the Diamond Bourse office in Surat on April 28, alleging that they were being made to work amid the ongoing coronavirus lockdown. Police reached the spot and took note of their grievances. The police also tried to pacify the protestors by explaining the current lockdown situation.
Meanwhile, eight special trains carrying stranded people, including migrant labourers, tourists, and pilgrims, left Gujarat for different destinations in Odisha and Uttar Pradesh in two days, a senior official said on Sunday. While four trains left on Saturday, as many others started their journey on Sunday, he said.
Apart from them, two more trains left on late Sunday night, the official said. "Four trains- two each from Ahmedabad and Surat- left on Saturday for places in Uttar Pradesh and Odisha. Four other trains carried passengers from Ahmedabad, Surat, Vadodara, and Palanpur on Sunday for those two states. Two more special trains will leave late tonight," Additional Chief Secretary Vipul Mittra, said.
These ten trains will carry around 9,500 passengers to their destinations in Odisha and Uttar Pradesh, from where the state governments will make further arrangements for them, he said.
The Gujarat government has appointed Mittra as the nodal officer to coordinate with the Railways and respective state governments for the movement of stranded migrant workers and other passengers in special trains.