Other States

Migrant workers stage protest in Amritsar demanding travel arrangements

Police personnel listen to the migrant workers after they blocked the National Highway during a protest against Punjab government demanding an early return to their home-towns, on the outskirts of Amritsar. File

Police personnel listen to the migrant workers after they blocked the National Highway during a protest against Punjab government demanding an early return to their home-towns, on the outskirts of Amritsar. File   | Photo Credit: AFP

We have lost jobs during lockdown period and run out of money, they say.

Several migrant workers on Wednesday staged a sit-in outside the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Amritsar, as they demanded travel arrangements to their native places.

The protesters, many along with their family members including children, told reporters that in the absence of any arrangement of travel, they had been been waiting near the railway station for the last one or two days.

Lockdown displaces lakhs of migrants

Maintaining that they would continue the protest until the administration gives them an assurance, the protesters said they wanted to go back as most of them had lost jobs during the lockdown period and had run out of money to sustain their families.

Most of them hailed from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Chhattisgarh and were working at the local brick kilns or those in the neighbouring districts. The workers complained that they had resorted to the protest after they did not get any assurance from the authorities.

The local administration, however, dismissed the charge and said necessary arrangements for their travel would be made.

Also Read | No migrant worker-related issue in Punjab: CM Amarinder Singh

“Around a 100 migrants are protesting here, most of them have been working in brick kilns. We are making arrangements for their stay at shelters and travel,” Shiv Dular Singh Dhillon, Deputy Commissioner Amritsar, told The Hindu.

Mr. Dhillon said many trains had been running for ferrying the migrants. “Since last week, however, the number of travellers has gone down. We had contacted the labourers in our districts and many of them didn’t want to go. But later a few had a change of mind and expressed their desire to go. So, we are making all arrangements for them now. Besides, many migrants have come from the neighbouring districts. After determining the number and their destinations, we will arrange trains.”

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 3:10:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/migrant-workers-stage-protest-in-amritsar-demanding-travel-arrangements/article31740810.ece

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