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Punjab: Angry over delayed departure, migrants pelt stones at police

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The Times Of India
26th May, 2020 16:45 IST

FATEHGARH SAHIB: Long wait and delays in departure to their native states are adding to the frustration and anger of migrant labourers waiting to board trains. On Monday morning, groups of migrants standing on the road in Mandi Gobindgarh town of Fatehgarh Sahib district pelted stones on police vehicles when told to move indoors.

While officials claimed the migrants had gathered on their own at the Khalsa Senior Secondary School, which has been turned into a temporary shelter for the stranded in lockdown, sources said they were there for a Bihar-bound which was cancelled on Friday, a day before its scheduled departure from Sirhind .

Later in the evening, SDM Amloh Anand Sharma said around 300 migrants were sent to Ambala Cantt railway station in nine buses to board the train for Bihar at 6pm. "On Friday, we had sent 375 migrants in 13 PRTC buses to Mohali, from where they boarded the special train," he said.

Around 500 migrants at the ground of Khalsa School got into heated arguments with cops when told to move inside the school, said station house officer Mandi Gobindgarh Mohinder Singh . More police force had to be called when the migrants resorted to violence, he said. No one was injured in the incident and no case was registered in this regard, he added.

However, SSP Amneet Kondal said the labourers had assembled following some false report on social media rumours regarding buses to take them to railway station to board train for home. She also dismissed "rumours of police cane-charging labourers, injuries and damage to vehicles". When asked about photographs of stone-pelting posted on social media, she said only patrolling PCR van was damaged slightly after someone pelted stone.

Fatehgarh Sahib SSP Amneet Kondal said, "The labourers were feeling frustrated as they wanted to go back home but there was no train. They were angry that they were still stuck here even after their medical examination had been conducted."Officials also claimed that all the labourers were from Mandi Gobindgarh.

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