While we were just wondering if there is ever going to be an end to the heartbreaking stories about the plight of migrant workers, another news of a twenty-four-year-old Satvir being heckled by the police at Delhi-Noida border and being stripped off his kulfi cart streamed in. Already under a debt of Rs 30,000 that was accumulating, Satvir lost his kulfi cart to the police with no hopes of getting it back. Also Read - Coronavirus in Noida: 27 Fresh Cases Reported in a Day, Total Active Cases Now 209; 4-Year-Old Recovers
On 18 May, Satvir reportedly tried to cross Delhi with his wife and children and enter Noida on their way back to Badaun, their hometown in Uttar Pradesh, when he was stopped and made to wait for hours before he was allowed to enter Noida with his family that evening but without his Kulfi cart. A report in The Quint claimed that he was heckled when he requested Noida police to allow him to take his cart along. Also Read - COVID-19: Six-fold Jump in Cases, Five-fold Surge in Fatalities After a Month: Is Worst Yet to Come For India?
If this harrassment on their way was not enough, Satvir and his family were then taken to a shelter home in Noida Sector 19 reportedly, where he was told that he could only leave if his uncle came to pick him. This was because Satvir had requested the police to let him go to his uncle’s place in Noida in the hope for a better livelihood. Also Read - J&K Admin Asks Staff to Attend Work From Today, Order Doesn't Go Down Well With Lower-rung Employees
On being denied and because his uncle was an elderly man who couldn’t come to receive him, Satvir was forced to go back to his home town in Badaun with the hopes of working at a farm with his uncle, dashed. Speaking to The Quint, Satvir shared, “I have no hope of getting my cart back. I wanted to go to my uncle and work with him in farm, that would have given us some earning. But police didn’t allow. They told me to call my uncle and receive me, else they won’t let me go alone. My uncle is old, he wouldn’t have come. Now I am going to my village, I will sow some crops to feed my children.”
Denying the allegations, Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, Noida, Kumar Ranvijay Singh said, “Satvir was not allowed to enter Noida with the cart because he was carrying his wife and the children in that cart that was totally unsafe for all of them, and against the law as well . He was never heckled, and was rather told that he would be transported to his native place safely, but he was worried about his cart. He wanted his uncle to come and take the possession of the cart but his uncle did not turn up. So finally he handed over the cart to someone and went away. He, with his family, was then taken to a shelter home to make them comfortable and from there to their desired destination, that is their native place, in a roadways bus.”
In major relief for commuters between Noida and New Delhi, the Gautam Buddha Nagar Police on Friday clarified that people travelling from Noida and Greater Noida with a confirmed flight or train ticket will not need an additional ‘Pass’ for travelling to Delhi. The centre has already allowed inter-state movement as well as domestic flights and trains across the country. However, at present, for people commuting from Delhi to Noida, Greater Noida or vice-versa, they need to get an ‘e-pass’ – that is, apart from essential service providers and special pass holders.
It is interesting to note that for migrant workers like Satvir, whose only source of income was a kulfi cart since four years of toil in Delhi, relaxations like an e-pass will only be a fantasy!