Lucknow: Sealed borders, massive road jams, parked trucks stuffed with people, sweltering sun, hunger, fatigue, collapsing men and women’s scenes at the borders of Uttar Pradesh were beyond imagination and description on Sunday. Please allow me to go to Sasaram in Bihar where my husband has died.
My children are sitting beside his body, Sunita, a woman migrant worker was seen crying at the Delhi-UP border on Sunday morning. Hundreds of hungry and tired workers stuck across UP borders were seen pleading before cops to allow them inside.
These jobless and moneyless workers had flocked to their home State by foot or by trucks and trolleys in the hope that their miseries would come to end once they reach home. But they could not enter UP as all borders were sealed on Saturday night to curb unrestricted inflow of labourers amid rising fear of spread of Covid19.
The Auraiya accident, in which 24 workers were killed when two trucks carrying them collided, had prompted the government to take stern measures to curb the non-passenger vehicular flow. Now, all of them are stranded at the inter-state borders leading to unrest and chaos at many places.
Extension of national lockdown till May 31 has added to their woes. UP shares borders with many states including Delhi, Haryana, Rajasthan, MP, and Bihar. Migrants are coming from all sides. Bihar workers want to cross UP to reach their state. Angry workers attacked vehicles in Saharanpur, burnt tyres at Mathura and protested in Kanpur and broke barriers at Jhansi.
Senior cops had to be rushed to control the situation. “There was a 20-km-long jam in Shivpuri at MP border. As the workers became restless, their trucks tried to break through the cordon. The cops, in turn, resorted to lathi charge.
Officials rushed to the spot and, yet, some vehicles managed to move inside,” a local said. Hundreds of trucks and trawlers are stuck inside UP also, as some districts like Lucknow and Unnao have suddenly decided to seal borders.
A local said, “From Unnao to Kanpur Dehat district, there was a 30-km jam, of vehicles packed with labourers. Most of them don’t have anything to eat or drink. The Jam was cleared after 3-4 hours only after arrival of police reinforcements.”
The Congress on Sunday alleged for his own petty politics the Yogi Adityanath government was not giving permission to ply 1,000 buses, which the party has arranged to ferry labourers. “Our buses are stranded at the Rajasthan border. It is not the time to play politics.
Allow us to transport them home safely,” Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Congress General Secretary urged CM through a video message posted on twitter. The permission wasn’t granted till filing of this report.