According to the workers, they have contacted the police which said that they were not evacuating people from the area at that moment. (Express photo: Amit Mehra)
Eleven migrant labourers from West Bengal are currently stuck in violence-hit Shahdara, waiting to be rescued. Speaking to The Indian Express over phone, one of the men, Kalam Sheikh, urged Delhi Police to rescue them from their present location in Ghonda Chowk.
“We are confined to a room in Shahdara since Monday night. We could not go out as violent clashes broke out. There is no food; we cannot step out of our room now as section 144 has been imposed,” Kalam said.
According to the workers, they have contacted the police which said that they were not evacuating people from the area at that moment. “Police told us to stay put. They said that they will look into our appeal during the day and when the situation calms down a bit,” said one of the workers.
All 11 are residents of Trimohini village at Nowda in Murshidabad district. While some of them have been staying in Delhi for five-six months, others landed in the national capital recently. Kalam reached on February 18.
His father Ali Hossain Sheikh said that ever since the incident, they have not been able to sleep, and want “police and Delhi government to rescue my son and others from there”.
Halim Sheikh, who had reached Delhi in the first week of January, said since the last three days he could not go to his workplace — a battery repair factory. “We somehow managed to lock ourselves up in a tiny room with no supplies. All we could do is save our lives and pray. We cannot step outside even to buy food as we might be attacked. We cannot stay here any longer and want to return to Murshidabad,” Halim said over the phone.
His father Panchu Sheikh also voiced concern over his son’s safety. “We are relieved that my son is alive. Now we want him to come back,” he said.
Labourer Imarul Sheikh said, “There has been times when people banged on our doors. We did not make a sound. We appeal to police to rescue us from here.”
Social welfare organisation Bangla Sanskriti Mancha is trying to bring back the migrant labourers from Delhi.
President of Bangla Sanskriti Mancha, West Bengal, Samirul Islam, said: “We are also trying to find out whether there are others who are also stuck in the violence-hit areas. At the same time we have taked to some groups to get in touch with the police to rescue them. We will also approach the state government in this regard.”