Surat: As many as 81 Odia migrant workers stranded in Diamond Nagar of Surat in Gujarat due to coronavirus lockdown, were arrested by Sarthana Police on Saturday allegedly for going on a rampage and setting several vehicles ablaze.
As per reports, fearing extension of the COVID-19 lockdown, the migrant labourers hit the street in Diamond Nagar and staged demonstration on Friday night. Alleging that they were deprived of food and basic facilities, the protesters demanded the local administration to make arrangements for their return to their native places.
Some of the irate demonstrators allegedly torched more than 10 vegetable-laden trucks and pelted stones at police when they rushed to the spot to bring the situation under control.
Following the incident, adequate number of police personnel were deployed in the area and the situation was brought under control. During its investigation, Surat Police on Saturday arrested 81 Odia migrant workers on charges of their involvement in the case.
“The incident took place as there was some issue related to food. The demonstrations were held after some mess were shut down,” alleged an Odia migrant labourer.
Surat Police Commissioner RB Brahmbhatt, on the other hand, refuted the allegations. “The Odia migrant workers who work mostly in the textile sector are given proper food. Besides, there is no issue regarding house rent during the on-going lockdown. Therefore, I appeal them to be calm and assured them that Gujarat government is with them,” Brahmbhatt said.
On March 30, over 90 migrant labourers were arrested in Surat city for defying the nationwide lockdown guidelines and attacking police over a similar issue.