LOCKDOWN .. Migrant workers storm Bandra rail terminal area, lathi-charged back to camps

MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: With a flock of migrant workers storming the vicinity of Bandra rail terminal station on Tuesday evening, seeking urgent transport for them to return to their homes in other states, a tense scenario arose in the western metropolis, leading to a lathi-charge on the protesting workers.
The workers were reportedly incensed over the extension of the lock-down by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday till May 3. 

They were expecting an end to the present situation at the end of the three-week original lockdown period which was to end on Tuesday. The authorities herded back the workers to their shelters after assuring them of free food and other facilities. This was a rare instance of groups of men defying the lock-down conditions and massing up in a public place.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah quickly intervened, called up chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, and pointed out that such indulgences by migrant workers would affect the fight against Covid spread.


India meanwhile saw a sharp jump in Covid cases since Monday, which took the total number of covid-infected people to 10,820. The total deaths remain at 353. Maharashtra logged the largest number of infections, around 2340, followed by Delhi, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan, with 1500 infections, 1200 and 900 infections respectively. Madhya Pradesh came fifth with over 700 cases.

Worldwide, coronavirus infection cases totaled 19,40,000; of them around 1,20,500 deaths have occurred.


Meanwhile Congress leader Sonia Gandhi invited subtle rebuke from the ruling BJP, after she addressed the nation via a video link shortly before PM Modi addressed the nation at 10am on Tuesday. She said her party would extend full support to the fight against Covid in the country. 

BJP president JP Nadda responded with a tweet, Thank You Soniaji. Take care of your health.” BJP leaders felt she could have chosen any other time to air her views to the nation or to her partymen, not at this juncture when the PM’s address of the nation was scheduled to take place.

Congress leaders were less than charitable to the PM’s call to the nation to continue with the lock-down for another two weeks. 

Former Union minister P Chidambaram was quick to spring up to criticize the government.  He said the poor of the country was left to fend for themselves for 21 plus 19 days of the lockdown. “Cry my beloved country,” he said, adding expert advice coming from those like Raghuram Rajan was not taken into account by the PM. Nor did the PM respond to the call by CMs for funds to handle the present situation, the former minister who is facing serious corruption investigations and questioning at Tihar Jail  recently, said.  – IHN-NN

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