GUNTUR: Thousands of migrant workers left for Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh in a Shramik special train from Nambur railway station in Guntur on Saturday night. Another train will leave for the same places on Sunday, Guntur district joint collector AS Dinesh Kumar said. Earlier in the day, police caned a group of migrant workers, who tried to leave for their native places on foot and bicycles, as the latter tried to cross inter-district borders of Krishna and Guntur districts.
Around 600 migrants rushed out of a relief camp in Tadepalli, Guntur district and tried to proceed towards their home states when the police resorted to lathicharge.
They were later shifted to relief camps and assured that they will be sent back in trains. The migrants, from Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Jharkhand, were part of a group spotted walking on the highway on Friday night by Chief Secretary Nilam Sawhney. They were assured that transport will be arranged to take them to their natives, and shifted to the relief camp at Vijayawada club in Tadepalli.
After breakfast was provided to them by the district administration on Saturday morning, the migrants started for their home even as revenue officials tried to convince them that trains and vehicles would be arranged for them.
The police claimed that they used mild force on the migrants as their requests went unheeded. In the kerfuffle, a few were injured. “They rushed out of the relief camps and, when police tried to stop them, they attacked our vehicles and tried to move towards Vijayawada. They did not listen to our requests,’’ Tadepalli circle inspector Mallikarjuna Rao said.
“Trains will be leaving for Odisha, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh, amid other states, and the migrants in the camp are among those who will be accommodated in the trains. Revenue officials have already started the registration process and medical check ups on them are being done simultaneously,’’ the inspector added.
Mangalagiri DSP D Durga Prasad refuted the allegations and said the police caned the suitcases, bags and bicycles to control the migrants, but did not physically hurt them. Dinesh Kumar added that a Shramik train took 1,602 migrants to Bihar from Nambur on Friday night and a proposal to run another to Odisha has been submitted to the neighbour state.