NEW DELHI: The Maharashtra-Madhya Pradesh (MP) border witnessed violent scenes as thousands of migrant workers returning from the western state to their native states pelted stones on cops and trucks on Thursday evening, alleging delay in arrangement of buses by the authorities in MP to ferry them ahead.
With the migrants pelting stones despite repeated warning, the on duty MP cops resorted to cane charge the agitated migrants near the state border in Barwani district.
However, no one was reportedly injured in the stone pelting by migrants and cane charge by the cops.
According to official sources, alleging delay in the arrangement of buses to take them ahead, the migrants first blocked the Mumbai-Agra Highway in Sendhwa Rural police station area in Barwani district and then pelted stones on some trucks and on duty cops.
On May 3, similar violent scenes were witnessed on the Maharashtra-MP border, when the irate mob of migrant workers had pelted stones on cops and officials, resulting in slight injuries to some cops.
Importantly, thousands of migrants (mostly UP natives) are daily returning from Maharashtra to their native states via the Maha-MP border in Barwani district.
On directives from Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the authorities in Barwani have made arrangements of buses to ferry the migrant workers from the border to Dewas district, from where they are being shifted to other buses for onward journey.
"It takes some time for the bus drivers to refuel their vehicles before ferrying the migrants for the onward journey but owing to long walk from Maharashtra to MP, extreme heat conditions and desperation to return home, often the migrants are getting irked," Barwani district Collector Amit Tomar said.
The process of ferrying migrants (returning from Maharashtra) in buses from Barwani district till Dewas district of MP has started from May 12 and thousands of migrants have been ferried to Dewas by 214 buses over last two days.
Even after the violent scenes on the Maharashtra-MP border on Thursday, 160 buses ferried around 15,000 migrants to Dewas.
As per Sub-Divisional Officer Police (SDOP-Sendhwa) TS Baghel, the situation became out of control on Thursday evening as against the Maharashtra government's information that 7,000-8000 migrants reaching the border, around 15,000 migrants actually arrived resulting in a delay of arrangement of buses.
A large deployment of police has been made by MP government in Barwani’s Sendhwa area to prevent law and order problems.
As per reports, the local BJP MP Gajendra Singh Patel during recent video conferencing had requested the minister in charge Tulsi Silawat to work for sending all migrants (returning from Maharashtra) by trains and not road route.
The BJP MP had told the minister that not only are law and order problems pervasive at the border in Barwani district but there is a danger of spread of deadly COVID-19 due to the large influx of migrants from Sendhwa border into MP.
Importantly, most of the COVID-19 positive cases reported till now in MP have been concentrated in Sendhwa only, owing to which the area is more vulnerable to spread of the deadly infection in comparison to other areas.