2,000 migrants gather outside govt office following rumour

Ahmedabad, May 8 (PTI) Flouting lockdown norms, nearly 2,000 migrant workers gathered at a government office in the Gota area here on Friday hoping they will somehow find a way to reach their native places, said police.

The gathering, which started since the morning, was apparently triggered by a rumour about a bus reaching outside the government office to ferry migrants to railway station.

On learning about the sudden rush of people at the deputy collector's office near Gota bridge, police officials immediately reached the spot and persuaded the migrants, mostly from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, to disperse.

Migrants wanting to go their native places amid the lockdown are supposed to make an online application. They can also fill up the required form off-line and submit it at any designated office under a district collector.

'This office of deputy collector also accepts such forms. Migrants who were given the permit were earlier asked to come here so that they can be ferried to a railway station in buses.

'Migrants having permits then board trains to reach their native places. This is how the system works,' said Assistant Commissioner of Police, M A Patel.

Since a bus carrying migrants had left from this office on Thursday, a rumour started doing the rounds that anyone wanting to go back to their native places should reach the spot, said Patel.

'Thus, around 2,000 migrants flocked here since morning hoping to catch a bus till railway station and then a train till their native places.

'Before sending them back from the spot, policemen made them understand the entire process and even helped them in filling up the forms,' Patel added.

This was the latest in a series of incidents of lockdown violation in Gujarat by migrant workers desperate to leave for their native places during the coronavirus-enforced curbs. PTI PJT PD RSY RSY