Hundreds of migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh, who set out on a journey by foot to their home States, were stopped by police in Kannur on Tuesday.
The workers protested when they were stopped and complained of not being issued passes to travel to their hometowns. They also claimed that they weren’t getting enough food during the lockdown, which prompted them to leave for their hometowns.
“We are out of work and we don’t have enough food to eat. The last few weeks have been distressing,” said Tilak Sahani, a native of Baliya in Uttar Pradesh. He had been working at Pappinesseri here for two years.
He along with several others from his village were dredging river sand for a living. However, after the lockdown the work stopped, confining them to their rooms, he said. The supplies they received from the panchayat lasted only 10 days, he added.
Despite expressing their wish to return to their hometowns and registering for the pass, neither the panchayat nor the district administration came forward to help, complained Rajdev, another worker, who reached the Kannur railway station after walking a long distance along the railway track.
He urged the government to allow them to return to their hometowns and arrange supply of food until then.