Lockdown 4.0 in Mumbai: Migrants gather at Kandivli grounds as two UP-bound trains cancelled

Thousands of migrant workers gathered at the grounds near Mahavir Nagar in Kandivali (W) after two of the three Uttar Pradesh-bound trains, which were to leave from Borivali railway station were cancelled on Thursday. As over 5,000 migrants assembled at the ground, Kandivali Police immediately reached the spot, requested them to keep calm and assured that they will be informed about the next train leaving for Uttar Pradesh.

Sources claim that the migrants who had earlier registered themselves to travel to their hometowns in Uttar Pradesh were called by police, who asked them to assemble at Mahavir Nagar ground. However, two trains which were to leave for Jaunpur were cancelled. When contacted a railway official, he said, "As I have already informed, all decisions in this regard are being taken by District Collector City Police & State Government. Western Railway has no role in planning & execution, but we are only operating trains."

Nitin Pondkule, senior inspector of Kandivli police station said, "Those who had registered for returning to their hometown were called around 9am. However, after the trains were cancelled, we bifurcated 1,400 people who would be sent in one train and the rest were asked to leave, with an assurance that they would be informed about the next train."

Police immediately arranged food and water facilities for the migrants assembled and ready to leave in the evening train for Uttar Paresh, at Mahavir Nagar grounds. "These labourers had gathered at the ground, from where they would be ferried to the railway station in buses. However, after we learnt that the trains were cancelled, proper protocol was followed and there was no commotion. The situation was brought under control within a couple of hours," added Pondkule.

This is surprisingly the second incident in the week where thousands of migrant labourers had gathered. On Tuesday, there were chaotic scenes outside Bandra Terminus, as a huge crowd of over 2,200 migrant workers gathered outside the station, jostling each other and ignoring social distancing norms, to board a Shramik Special train to Purnia, Bihar. The crowd was, however, dispersed by police after calming them down, and a total of 1,800 workers were sent to Bihar in the special train.

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Free Press Journal