Desperate migrant workers hurl stones at officials in Kovvur

Police use force to quell mob, later hold talks

May 05, 2020 12:13 am | Updated 12:13 am IST - KOVVUR (WEST GODAVARI)

Rising tensions: Police personnel counselling the migrant labourers at Kovvur in West Godavari district on Monday.

Rising tensions: Police personnel counselling the migrant labourers at Kovvur in West Godavari district on Monday.

Tension prevailed in the town on Monday when stranded migrant labourers reportedly threw stones at government officials and the police expressing their resentment over not being sent to their native places. Police resorted to lathicharge to disperse the workers.

Officials clarified that they could not allow the labourers to leave the camps without clearance from the nodal officers of the concerned States.

Additional forces were deployed in the town.

Later, the officials held discussions with the labourers.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) K. Rajeswar Reddy said about 2,200 labourers were kept in shelter homes at Kovvur during the lockdown period. After a long stay, some of them started demanding that they should be allowed to go home, particularly in the last three days.

No work

“The migrant workers from Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh working in the sand reaches on the Godavari bank in Kovvur have been rendered jobless after the lockdown and are desperate to go back to their native States,” the DSP told The Hindu .

A few of them were engaged in some industries in the area.

Stuck for the past 40 days, the workers began to panic following the extension of curbs till May 17 and no visible efforts by the officials to send them back.

“There is no work and no money with us. We are suffering for the last 40 days in camps. Officials are dragging the issue for the last four days and are not making any arrangements for our transport,” lamented a worker.

“Officials are trying to explain to the workers about how the government is planning to send them back, and the situation is under control in Kovvur. Police pickets have been arranged at all the shelter camps in the town,” Mr. Rajeswar Reddy said.

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