BENGALURU: Despite the government making it clear that migrant workers should not be evicted or harassed during these trying times, labourers including women from West Bengal living in shanties in Thubarahalli in Varthur police station limits were allegedly attacked by the goons of their landlord on Saturday.
The landlord, angered after the workers sought a deferment of rent, blamed the women for not maintaining social distancing and his associates allegedly assaulted them. It is alleged that the incident took place after the women had queued up to fill water from a tanker. Their landlord, who came to the spot, abused the women saying they could spread the coronavirus. Later, his associates assaulted several women including a pregnant woman, identified as Ismat Tara, and ransacked some sheds.
The tiff between the migrants and the landlord had been lingering for a while and the workers alleged that attempts to evict them were not new. “This is the third time we are being attacked. Earlier, we were assaulted twice in a span of 15 days,” said Nooraine, adding that the landlord asked them to vacate the place in another five days.
The women have also approached an organisation that works for labour rights to help them.Police said the incident took place on Saturday afternoon. “The women have accused the landlord of beating them up. However, no one has filed any compliant in connection with the incident. As a precautionary measure, police have been deployed there to ensure that the workers are not put into hardship,” an officer of Varthur police station said.“There have been disputes between the residents and the land owner,” the officer added.