Probe Ordered After Migrants Allege Being Charged Over Rs 50k for Special Train Tickets in Chhatisgarh

Seventy-one migrant labourers who returned to Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh from Gandhinagar in Gujarat by a special train early this week have claimed their employers took money from them for the commute, an official said here on Sunday.

A state government release said a probe was ordered by the collector into the allegations, and a report has been submitted by the latter to the secretary of the state labour department.

The matter came to light after statements of workers, staying in quarantine centres, were recorded.

"It was revealed that six brick kiln owners and their accountants in Gandhinagar have illegally taken Rs 52,950 from 71 labourers working in their units on the pretext of paying for their train tickets. A Litiya village based worker Jogendar Sai said he and 10 other workers paid Rs 8,250," it said.

Officials said the Chhattisgarh government had given consent for 37 trains to bring back migrants stranded in the coronavirus-induced lockdown, and eight Shramik Special trains had arrived till Saturday since May 11.

The state government has so far paid Rs 1.16 crore to the railways for ferrying the labourers.