Lockdown: Migrant workers in Surat come out on road demanding salaries

More than 1000 persons assembled on street demanding to return to their home States.
Surat Migrant Worker

Hundreds of migrant workers in Gujarat’s Surat city on Friday late night came out on roads demanding salaries and asking to let them go back to their natives.

They took to torching vegetable carts and vandalising properties and shops along the road in Lasanaka area, a migrant hub in the city.

Most of them work in power looms textiles factories which are shut due to the countrywide lockdown as part of the government’s move to break the chain of coronavirus transmission in the country. According to sources, they are restless to go back to their natives in Odisha.

By the time police had arrived, more than 1000 people had gathered on the street shouting and complaining about food and salaries. Around 70 persons were detained for rioting and defying lockdown rules.

This is the second incident of migrants turning violent demanding they be allowed to return to their native places. Earlier, the police had booked 95 migrant workers for violence and rioting in which police vehicles were also damaged.

Surat is home to Gujarat’s largest migrant population hailing from more than a dozen States and engaged in textiles, power looms, embroidery works, construction sites and diamond polishing and cutting factories.

As a result of the nationwide lockdown, factories have been shut rendering lakhs of people, mostly migrant workers and daily wage labourers, jobless.

In the absence of work and left without wages, they wished to go back to their native places instead of staying put in slums.

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