SURAT: Migrant workers in Surat resorted to violent protest again on Tuesday, demanding to be sent back to their native places.
Hundreds of migrant workers came out on the streets and vandalised vehicles and the office of the under-construction Diamond Bourse Complex in Khajod area after they learnt that the contractors had brought more labourers from other parts of Gujarat to speed up the construction work.
The migrant workers, mostly from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal and hired on contract for the project, demanded that transport be arranged for them to return to their homes.
Sources said the migrants got angry upon seeing labourers from outside at the site and started asking that if permission could be granted to bring outsiders to Surat, then why were couldn’t they be allowed to travel to their native places.
The migrants pelted stones at police vehicles, injuring some policemen. More forces were called to control the crowd.
Visuals from PM Modi ji's home state- Hundreds of migrant labourers in Surat went on rampage, damaged glass walls & vehicles demanding permission to go back home. Media won't show this because there is no mosque near the protest site! pic.twitter.com/Qo06hF57c6— Salman Nizami (@SalmanNizami_) April 28, 2020
In a separate incident, locals in Dindoli area of Surat pelted stones on a police team that had gone to the area to enforce social distancing.RP Barot, Surat’s deputy commissioner of police, said five persons had been arrested in connection with stone-pelting and violating the lockdown norms.
Surat is the diamond and textile hub where thousands of migrants have been stranded since the lockdown was announced.
As many factories have shut down, the workers are desperate to return to their native places.
On March 31, too, migrant workers in Pandesara area of Surat had resorted to stone pelting demanding permission to travel.
Reacting to the incident, Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia accused the government of differentiating between the poor and the rich.
“The students who stranded in Kota were brought back; they also brought back students from MUMBAI: China, but are not allowing labourers to go,” he said.