Not just Bandra: Wanting to go home, migrants take to streets in Mumbra near Mumbai

April 14, 2020

On Tuesday, the Mumbai Police had to resort to lathicharge in Bandra to disperse a crowd of hundreds of labourers who gathered in the area demanding that they are allowed to return to their native villages or towns. A similar situation was brewing in Mumbra, an area that falls in Maharashtra's Thane district on the outskirts of Mumbai city.

In a video of the incident, hundreds of labourers can be seen gathering on the streets of Mumbra. They are then seen running after the Thane Police initiate a lathicharge to disperse the crowd. While the gathering in Mumbai was held outside the Bandra railway station, no such facility is available in Mumbra.

Multiple reports said that these labourers who gathered in Bandra and Mumbra claim that they have run out of food and supplies. They are now demanding that they are allowed to leave for their native towns and villages despite the suspension of inter-state and intra-state public transport across India.

These developments have come to light on the same day as Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the 21-day nationwide lockdown initiated on March 25 be extended till May 3 in light of the situation. Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh and Shiv Sena leader Aditya Thackeray have blamed the central government for failing to provide necessary food and shelter to these labourers stranded due to the lockdown.

Uddhav Thackeray, the Maharashtra Chief Minister is scheduled to hold a video press conference at 8 pm on Tuesday to brief the nation on the developments from earlier in the day. Maharashtra is the worst-hit from the Covid-19 outbreak. As of April 14, the state has 2,337 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, the highest in the country. This figure includes 160 deaths, also the highest among other Indian states. The city of Mumbai, in particular, accounts for a majority of these cases.

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