After Delhi, Surat, and Ahemdabad it’s Bandra on Tuesday evening. Thousand of migrant workers gathered near Bandra West railway station defying lockdown rules. This came on when the government announced a lockdown extension till 3rd May.
The crowd comprising mostly of daily-wage laborers who were not able to earn due to lockdown wanted to go home. The migrants started congregating outside Bandra bus depot from 4 pm in a large number. A Police theory says that some WhatsApp message was circulated. As per this, fake news was spread that trains would run from 14th April to ferry migrants to their homes. The gathering of migrants was estimated to be around 3,000 migrants.
“They demanded to run the trains to UP and Bihar so that they can go back to their native places“, said MLA Ashish Shelar, who was at the spot. The police say that daily wage earners, numbering around 1,000, assembled at suburban Bandra (West) bus depot near the railway station and squatted on road at around 3 pm. This created a massive defying of lockdown and social distancing.
On talking the migrants who gathered the following issues came to light:
- They said there was no proper supply of food for 3 times
- Not enough money in hand to survive in the city
- Rental payments putting pressure on them
The Chief Minister of Maharashtra addressed the residents if the state after the incident. The state government was heavily criticized for this mismanagement. Police was forced to do lathi-charge to disperse the crowd. Problems of migrants are something that the respective state government has to look to seriously. After Delhi and Surat, the Mumbai incident could have been avoided.