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COVID-19 lockdown: Migrants gather at Mangaluru railway station over rumours of 'trains restarting'

"Many workers do not want to stay here anymore and that is why they decided to gather at the station and wait for their trains to arrive," said a migrant labourer

Published: 08th May 2020 01:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th May 2020 05:24 PM   |  A+A-

Migrant workers gather at the central railway station in Mangaluru

Migrant workers gather at the central railway station in Mangaluru. (Photo| EPS)

Express News Service

MANGALURU: Thousands of migrant workers stranded in Dakshina Kannada district for more than 40 days amid the nationwide lockdown gathered at the Central railway station here on Friday believing rumours that special trains would take them home. The workers were sent back to their rented houses by labour department officials.

The migrant labourers hailing from Jharkhand, Uttar Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar and other states assembled at the station a day after the state government wrote to the railway ministry to restart special trains amid public outrage.

The desperate labourers started gathering at the station in the wee hours of Friday morning after being misled. A labourer speaking to The New Indian Express said that there were more than 3000 migrant workers from different states. "Many workers do not want to stay here anymore and that is why they decided to gather at the station and wait for their trains to arrive."

Social activist Vidya Dinaker who is co-coordinating with government officials to help the migrant workers said that due to some false information given by one of the builders that trains will be arranged on Friday, the workers rushed to the station at midnight itself.

Meanwhile, labour department officials met the workers and convinced them to wait until transport is arranged. Railway and Pandeshwar police also tried to convince them to go back to their camps. By Friday afternoon, the reluctant workers agreed to leave the place after they were assured that transport would be arranged as soon as possible. Local Congress leaders also met them and promised to arrange trains.

On Thursday, workers from Jharkhand held a poster campaign to which Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren responded and assured that more trains would be arranged for their return.



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