As hundreds of migrants walk back home amid Coronavirus lockdown, former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, on Saturday, went out to meet migrant labourers who were walking near Sukhdev Vihar flyover to return to their home states, according to ANI. The migrants were then sent back home via cars, arranged by Congress workers. As of date 1074 Shramik special trains have been operated ferrying more than 14 lakh workers.
Rahul Gandhi came and met us half an hour back. He booked the vehicle for us and said he will drop us to our homes. He gave us food, water and mask: Devendra, a migrant labourer https://t.co/qPyYQ3JswH pic.twitter.com/kX7OTDmuP4— ANI (@ANI) May 16, 2020
Congress claims that the migrants were detained by Delhi police for huddling on the street. The police have denied these reports stating that the group of migrants were not allowed to board a village as a large group. A migrant stated that they were given food, water and transported home - two in a car - arranged by Congress.
Police sources say it is misinformation that migrants who met with Rahul Gandhi were detained by police, migrants are still at spot, as per rules they are not being allowed to board a vehicle as a large group, which some Congress workers offered. https://t.co/3LXegGihNI— ANI (@ANI) May 16, 2020
Since May 1, the Ministry of Home Affairs has allowed the movement of stranded migrants, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons across India via special trains called 'Shramik trains' operated by the Ministry of Railways. On Thursday, the Centre allowed states and Union Territories to hire private buses to ferry passengers who were arriving at railway stations via special 'Shramik' trains to their homes. The Centre has claimed that 85% of the fare cost was borne by Centre while 15% was borne by state governments. Now, the MHA has also launched the National migrant Information System (NMIS)- based on the existing NDMA-GIS portal to track migrants' movement across states.
After PM Modi had announced the first phase of lockdown, on March 28, thousands of migrant workers were seen thronging the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh border at Delhi's Anand Vihar Interstate Bus Terminal in the hope of reaching their homes, defying lockdown and creating a health hazard. Similarly, after PM Modi announced the extension of the lockdown till May 3, on April 14, around 2,000 migrant workers gathered at Bandra station, under the illusion of boarding 'Jansdharan Express' trains to UP, Bengal and Bihar. Apart from this several visuals have been seen of thousands of migrants walking across state borders to reach their native homes due to loss of income amid lockdown. Three notable accidents too have occurred killing 82 such on-foot travelling migrants.