Migrants stuck as government seals Rajasthan's inter-state borders
Migrants stuck as government seals Rajasthan's inter-state borders

Angry scenes and long queues of vehicles are visible at Ratanpur along the Rajasthan-Gujarat border in Udaipur district of Rajasthan. Large number of migrant workers and non resident Rajasthanis are waiting to enter into the state.

They have the requisite permission, but are not being allowed entry as Rajasthan government on Thursday issued orders to seal all inter-state borders.

The people wishing to enter Rajasthan are travelling from Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Similar scenes are visible in Jalore and Sirohi along the Gujarat border and Bharatpur having border with Uttar Pradesh. The situation is expected to further aggravate as close to 15 lakh people from Rajasthan have registered on the government portal to come back to the state.

Migrants stuck as government seals Rajasthan's inter-state borders

District collectors have communicated to their counterparts across state borders that people would not be allowed to come in due to the government order, but those with requisite permission, who had already left and travelled for over two days to reach the Rajasthan border are demanding that they either be taken in the state or be transported back to where they came from. The people are travelling in buses and cars and long queues could be seen at the state borders, especially at Udaipur.

Casualties are also being reported as non resident Rajasthanis and migrant labourers are trying to get back to their homes. A family of six travelling from Maharashtra to their home in Sirohi was killed in a head on crash on Abu Road. A man travelling from Maharashtra died after suffering a heart attack at Mawal along the Rajasthan-Gujarat border in Sirohi district. He was administered CPR and referred to a hospital but he collapsed before he could reach there.

While there has been no official communication from the government on the issue, it is believed that the decision was taken after several migrants coming back home tested positive.

The decision to seal borders is a major U-turn in Rajasthan government’s policy regarding bringing back migrants and non-resident Rajasthanis home. The government had adopted a proactive approach and said that the people needed to come back to their homes to feel safe. Rajasthan government had been among the first to demand trains for migrants to be brought back home from other states. But sealing inter-state borders just as the homecoming process begins is a decision that is baffling.

The largest number of migrant workers and residents from Rajasthan are in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. For them the route for entry into Rajasthan is through Udaipur. Those from Uttar Pradesh are trying to enter through Bharatpur.

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