Coronavirus lockdown | Jharkhand CM demands uniform guidelines on migrants’ return

Soren expresses anguish for not being allowed to speak in PM-CMs’ video-conference

Published - April 28, 2020 05:15 am IST - BHUBANESWAR

Hemant Soren

Hemant Soren

Questioning the NDA government’s silence on open violation of the Central guidelines by some States over bringing their stranded people back, Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Monday demanded a uniform policy on the issue.

At a press conference in Ranchi, Mr. Soren expressed his anguish for not being allowed to share his thoughts in the video-conference between Chief Ministers and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“Jharkhand did not figure in the list of States that were to speak in the video-conference. Keeping it in mind, I had sent a letter to PM yesterday [Sunday]. I had told him that Jharkhand is being punished for following the Central guideline in letter and spirit,” he said.

“I had written that we want to bring all Jharkhandi migrant workers and students stranded in other States. However, the Home Ministry had banned inter-State movement till May 3 and violators can be sent to jail for one year as per the Disaster Management Act, 2005,” he pointed out.

Stating that this was the reason for which he was not able to bring Jharkhandis from other States, Mr. Soren asked, “The Central government is, however, keeping mum while some States are opening violating its directives. Why is the Centre playing this game?”

Also read: Coronavirus | First death, 8 fresh cases reported in Jharkhand

“If the Centre agrees that all migrants and students should return to their respective States, it should make relaxation and issue a simple order,” he said.

“I have already made it clear that the State government is not in a position to bring all those who are stranded. Thus, the Centre should change its guidelines so that we should start working on the issue with systematic approach. We cannot violate rules and the Centre should make clear how migrants can be brought back.”

Mr. Soren said Jharkhand would not follow the Central guidelines on the relaxation made recently with regard to opening of certain shops. Only grocery and vegetable outlets would remain open as was before till May 3.

The State government decided to deploy CRPF personnel in COVID-19 hotspots to stop movement completely. According to him, though there has been steady rise in the COVID-19 positive cases, the State government is aggressively carrying out contact-tracing to curb its spread.

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