New Delhi: A group of passengers, who arrived in Bengaluru from Delhi in the first special train to the city from the national capital, were sent back to Delhi after they refused to undergo institutional quarantine. Also Read - Uttar Pradesh News: State Govt Won’t Charge Migrant Workers For Their Travel in Special Trains, Says Yogi Adityanath

Notably, the train, which arrived in Bengaluru in the wee hours of Thursday, had 543 passengers, the number being confirmed by the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the city’s civic body. Of these, 20, who were on transit to Kerala and Tamil Nadu, left for their respective destinations by road. Also Read - Disallowed to Board Trains Because of COVID-19 Symptoms? You Will Get Refund Too

However, of the remaining passengers, a section-numbering around 140-started protesting on the platform itself on being told that they will be taken to institutional quarantine, the Indian Railways said in a statement.

“After persuasion and discussion by senior officers of state government, police and Railways, majority of them have proceeded to said quarantine,” the statement further stated.

Despite this, 19 passengers, the statement noted, expressed desire to be sent back to Delhi, which was fulfilled by adding an additional coach to the special train for its return journey last evening.

Among those who tried to pacify the protesting passengers was senior IPS officer D Roopa, who praised the passengers for ‘protesting peacefully,’ and finally listening to the authorities and agreeing to follow their orders.

The Karnataka government, on its part, in a statement, said, “All interstate travellers to Karnataka will be compulsorily placed in institutional quarantine for 14 days. You can stay in government hostels free of cost or in specified hotels at your own cost. You will not be allowed to go to your home before 14 days.”

With 28 new cases on Thursday, Karnataka’s overall COVID-19 count is now on the brink of breaching the 1,000-mark, currently standing at 987. The overall tally also includes 35 deaths and 45 discharges.

The special AC trains from Delhi to 14 other cities started on Tuesday to bring home those who were left stranded in different parts of the country due to the lockdown, announced on March 24 in a bid to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.