A truck carrying 94 migrant labourers to Bihar, including women, was intercepted by the Uttar Pradesh police on the Jharkhand border in Sonbhadra.
The migrants, natives of Munger and Vaishali districts of Bihar, were coming from Faridabad in Haryana, said a police officer.
Also read:Lockdown displaces lakhs of migrants
A case was registered against the owner of the truck, its driver and the deckhand under the Epidemic Diseases Act, said Ashish Srivastava, Superintendent of Police Sonbhadra.
The migrants worked in factories in Hayana’s Ballabgarh, which is around 1,000 km from the location where the truck was seized.
The truck had gone to Haryana from Tata Nagar in Jharkhand with a supply of pipes a few days ago. On April 17, after the lockdown was extended, the labourers allegedly asked the truck to drop them home, said police.
“Medical inspection of all 94 persons was done. They are kept in a school in Sonbhadra under quarantine and are being provided food,” Mr. Srivastava said.
‘No work, no employment’
Nand Kishor Rajak, one of the migrants, said the group was left with no choice but to attempt going home as they had run out of supplies and money. He worked as a labourer in a bedsheet factory, which was closed due to the lockdown. “There was no work, no employment.”
Mr. Rajak claimed that the labourers contacted many politicians in Bihar, including Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and RJD leader Tejaswi Yadav but did not receive any help. “Someone said money would be deposited in our account, others said ration would be sent. With the second lockdown, we had exhausted all our stuff and money”.
He explained that since all the labourers had decided to walk back together, they packed themselves into the same truck, setting aside social distancing norms. “We would have died of hunger there. So we decided to take the road.”