A day after thousands of people seemingly demanding transportation to their native places gathered at Mumbai's Bandra station, flouting the lockdown amid the outbreak of Covid-19, Republic TV on Wednesday has accessed a video in which a person can be heard instructing those gathered to not move from their spots unless they are paid an amount of Rs 15,000 or steps are taken to facilitate their movement.
While the Republic Media Network is unable to verify the authenticity of the video, the person in the video is heard saying that they should gather once media and Police personnel are around.
In the video, a person can be heard saying, "Has anything been decided? Is anyone coming?" Another person responds, "They said media people and police personnel will arrive, they gave the time as 4." To this, the first person replies: "4 o'clock, then why are you all standing from now, it is a bit early. Why are you here, you want to go to your native villages, talk about only this issue, and talk collectively. You say no one is listening to you. If they ask you to stay here you demand Rs 15,000 and say that only then you will stay here. Do not listen otherwise."
Another voice from the crowd can be heard saying that they do not want food, money but they want to return. To this, the first person says, "Stand here, do not move, they will definitely give you money."
READ | As Aaditya blames Centre for Bandra incident, Sena praises PM Modi's COVID lockdown speech
Around 2,000 people who claimed to be migrant workers, who are stuck in Mumbai due to lockdown imposed to tackle the coronavirus, gathered at Bandra station, outside the mosque around 3 PM on Tuesday. Flouting the norms of social distancing and lockdown, the workers allegedly sought transport arrangements to go back to their native places, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended the lockdown till May 3. As per reports, they had bought into rumours that trains have been arranged to facilitate their return. The crowd was dispersed only after Police resorted to lathi-charge. After vacating, the area was sanitized.
Taking immediate cognizance of the incident, Union Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray and extended full support. The Mumbai Police registered an FIR. Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 149, 186(obstructing public servant in discharge of his public functions), 188 (disobedience to order promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3 (disobeying order under this Act) of the Epidemic Act have been invoked. The case has been filed against 800-1000 unknown accused persons. Meanwhile, Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh announced that a probe has been ordered to find out who spread the rumour that trains will be run to take migrant workers back to their states.
In the latest development, Vinay Dubey, a man who had allegedly incited the migrant agitation. Vinay Dubey was detained by the Mumbai Police after a Facebook post was found wherein Dubey had issued an open call to migrants to agitate against the Government. He has now been arrested and booked under Sections 117, 153 A, 188, 269, 270 and 505 (2) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Section 3 of The Epidemic Diseases Act and would be produced before a local court later today.