Tamil Nadu

Stricken labourers in Kerala scramble to return to T.N.

Labourers who tried to cross the Kerala-T.N. border were stopped by the police at the Walayar checkpos

Labourers who tried to cross the Kerala-T.N. border were stopped by the police at the Walayar checkpos   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

100 stopped at border so far; many fled govt. shelters, fearing further restrictions due to COVID-19 threat

Amid the surge in the number of COVID-19 cases and the lack of jobs in Kerala, migrant workers have been attempting to cross the border to return to their native place in Tamil Nadu.

The labourers who have been stopped by the Tamil Nadu police at the inter-state border in Coimbatore range from those who had been travelling in an ambulance to a group of people who were walking along the railway tracks.

Thus far, the police have stopped around 100 persons, who had attempted to cross the border after escaping from the shelters set up by the Kerala government at various places in Palakkad district. On Friday, the police stopped as many as 25 persons who were walking on the railway track with the aim of reaching Coimbatore.

“These are people in the unorganised sector who don’t have jobs due to the national lockdown. A majority of them were provided shelter in community halls and other facilities in Palakkad district. Fearing further restrictions, they attempted to cross the border,” said an officer involved in monitoring at the Walayar checkpost.

Border checks

Officials from the Revenue, Police and Health Departments have been posted at major inter-state borders, including Walayar in Coimbatore, to check vehicles and screen passengers.

“Some workers attempted to cross the border by walking through jungles and bushes, before getting caught. They were afraid of the screening at the border. Transportation was arranged for many workers who returned from Kerala, after verification of documents and screening by the Health Department,” said Thooyamani Vellaisamy, Inspector, K.G. Chavadi police station.

No ID proof

According to Mr. Vellaisamy, those who had been sent back to Kerala included workers who escaped from shelters and people who did not have any ID proof.

“This was done in coordination with officials in Kerala as there should be no room for controversy,” he added.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 2:42:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/stricken-labourers-in-kerala-scramble-to-return-to-tn/article31195226.ece

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