MUMBAI: A Marathi news channel reporter and a social activist from Navi Mumbai were arrested on Wednesday on the charge of spreading wrong information that a long distance train had been started, which resulted in the chaos and protest by migrant workers at Bandra in Mumbai on Tuesday.Abhisekh Trimukhe, DCP, Zone IX, Mumbai said the reporter will be produced in a court on Thursday. Both have been charged under the Epidemic Disease Act 1897, and relevant sections of the IPC.
The reporter in question is said to have reported that special trains would be operated for helping migrant workers reach their homes. He was arrested from his hometown Osmanabad and brought to Mumbai on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the Mumbai police had to use canes for dispersing a crowd that had gathered outside a police station seeking help to return home. The crowd turned up even after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced extended nationwide lockdown till May 3.
On his part, the reporter had claimed that his report was based on a circular issued by the central railway. But, the police said, the circular had nowhere mentioned that train would be started on April 14.
There are reports that police have identified three suspects who possibly were behind the Bandra gathering.
Food for workers
After the protest by the migrant workers, the Maharashtra government has assured that 3,000 workers will be provided food till the lockdown continues. State tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray said the state government has requested the Centre to arrange transport for the migrants workers who want to return home but it was yet to respond.