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Over 60 people detained in Surat for doing violence fearing the extension of nationwide lockdown

Surat is the hub of migrant workers in the state and most of them are employed in textiles, power and construction sites. Hundreds of migrant workers in Gujarat’s Surat city late on Friday came out on roads demanding salaries and transportation arrangements to go back to their hometowns over fears of extension of the 21-day lockdown.

This lockdown which started with Janata Curfew on 22 March 2020 has been extended for almost a month from then and now there are signs for this to continue even longer. The lockdown has severely restricted movements of people all over the country. Some states started sooner and some did a bit later. But almost all the states have been through this lockdown making it a national lockdown. Strictly speaking, almost the whole world is undergoing lockdown now.

While people who are living in their native places, or their original places are considered a bit lucky, the migrants are having a tough time. A few days earlier there have been issues of students studying at colleges in other places trying to cross state borders but been held by policemen. This was a hot topic a few days ago. Not knowing how many days this lockdown will continue, people started returning to their families and native places. This caused a bit of mayhem in the previous days. People started walking for long distances with their belongings. When asked for, they replied that they couldn’t live in their cities.

Life became tough for migrant workers. These people have moved to cities in order to earn a living. They are daily wage workers working in industries. They don’t have proper shelter in the cities. They either live in small tents near the factory or live in small rented rooms. A lot of people can’t even afford to buy a week’s supplies at once, let alone month’s. With the day’s earnings, they go and buy at local departmental stores. If they don’t earn for a day, they have to either cut down their savings or take things on debt.
Amidst this lockdown, the migrant worker’s lives have become even tougher. Those who couldn’t afford two square meals a day now have to spend on food and shelter at least from their savings, without even earning a single penny a day.

A lot of NGOs and Government too are lending a fair hand to the people suffering, but his help isn’t reaching all the people. That is where the main problem lies.
With the announcement of an extension of national lockdown, the migrant workers in Surat got a bit more terrified of living in Surat. They were simply afraid of continuing to live there as they have already faced a huge crisis.

So, with the fear of extension of this nationwide lockdown the migrant workers came out onto the streets demanding salaries and transportation to their hometowns. Rhey blocked roads and pelted stones. Also burned carts and demanded food. chaos ensued when policemen tried to clear and settle them. The violence has caused the police to detain more than 60 workers.

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