New Delhi: Violence broke out in Surat’s Laskana area on Friday evening as thousands of migrant workers, most of them working in powerloom industry, went on a rampage, allegedly fearing extension of the ongoing nationwide lockdown and demanding that their unpaid dues be paid and arrangements be made to send them home. Also Read - 'COVID Protection Trains': Congress Urges PM Modi to Arrange For Ferrying Migrants to Their Homes
Speaking to news agency ANI, Surat DCP Rakesh Barot said that the workers blocked roads and pelted stones, following which police reached the spot and detained 60-70 people.
The workers also torched vegetable carts and vandalised properties and shops in the area, which is a migrant hub in the city. According to reports, most of the protesters were from Odisha, which, incidentally, is the first state in the country to extend the nationwide lockdown till April 30.
Punjab and Rajasthan are the second and third states respectively which have announced an extension of the lockdown.
Friday’s incident, notably, is the second such incident in Surat. Earlier, the police had booked 95 migrants for indulging in violence during which police vehicles were also targeted. The city is home to Gujarat’s largest migrant population.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will, later today, hold a video conference with Chief Ministers to discuss the issue of lockdown extension and is also likely to apprise the nation, today itself, of the final decision.
The ongoing 21-day lockdown was announced on March 24 and is currently scheduled to end on April 14.