KOLHAPUR: Around 700 migrant workers employed in Shiroli, Gokul-Shirgaon and Kagal MIDC in Kolhapur district congregated at a ground in Shiroli MIDC and took out a protest march to Kolhapur on Thursday to press their demand to be sent back to their home state, Uttar Pradesh .
Heavy police force was deployed at the entrance of Kolhapur city near Tawde hotel to stop the workers from entering the city. Apart from a handful of workers who were spotted sporting face masks, all the social distancing norms went for a toss in the protest.
Lalpal Raghav, a resident of Lucknow district, said, “We are without work since the last fifty days and now, we do not even have enough savings to buy food. Since the last two days, migrant workers are being sent back to their hometown in special Shramik trains but our tickets are not getting confirmed despite applying online. We want the government to arrange for a transport and send us home immediately.”
Fulkumari Singh, a native of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, was travelling with her husband and two children. “The owner of the house where we were staying told us to pay the rent or leave the house. Somehow, we cleared the rent and left the place to go back to our hometown. The government should have taken care of our needs but unfortunately, nothing was done on their part.”
After a lot of commotion, the district administration and the city police arranged for MSRTC buses which transported the workers to a nearby hall. The workers will put up at the hall for a day and will return to Uttar Pradesh by a train scheduled to leave from Kolhapur on Friday after completing the necessary paper work and undergoing medical screening.