Mumbai: Tempo driver held for ferrying migrants in essentials vehicle amid lockdown

Mumbai: The Thane (rural) police intercepted and impounded a goods delivery tempo on Friday night in Mira Road while it was attempting to ferry 15 migrant workers to their hometowns in Uttar Pradesh amid the lockdown. The police arrested the tempo driver identified as Rajendra Bhuidhar Yadav (38) who was found to be misusing movement passes meant for those who dispense essentials or deployed for emergency duties including distribution of food and other relief material.

The police found the migrant workers crammed inside the tempo (MH:04:HY:9732) in rank defiance of social distancing rules. The labourers put themselves as well as others at risk. While the tempo driver was arrested and booked under the relevant sections of the IPC, Motor Vehicle Act, Disaster Management Act and Epidemic Act, the migrants who are said to be engaged in scrap collection work, were sent back to their makeshift tenements located in the Beverly Park area of Mira Road.

The local police is conducting further investigations in the case. The movement of people from one state to another is prohibited owing to the lockdown imposition. The police have also effectively shut its border with Thane, Palghar and Mumbai by restricting non-essential vehicular traffic from neighbouring cities. They have done this to contain the highly infectious coronavirus.

The lockdown has left hundreds of migrant workers stranded far away from home, with no jobs or money in the twin-city. The city has also been tagged as a containment area in entirety, due to the alarming rise in positive Covid-19 cases. The city recorded 120 cases till Friday.

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