Hundreds of migrants workers took to the streets in several parts of Chennai on Saturday, May 2 demanding assistance to go return to their native states as the government extended the lockdown for the third time now for two weeks from May 3.
The migrants gathered at Velachery checkpost were from different states and have been stranded in the state capital due to coronavirus lockdown. They started congregating at Velachery checkpost on Saturday morning and demanded that the police allow them to leave for their homes.
Their prime demand was that if the state cannot arrange their move by train or by road then at least they should not be stopped from going home by whichever means they decide, i.e. walking back.
Crowd disperses as Chennai Police assurances migrant workers
As the protest started to swell, the Chennai police reached out to the protestors and took their Aadhar Card details and other information. The police assured them that they are looking into the matter and they will soon be sent to their native places. Only after the police came out and assured that the migrants who are stranded in Chennai will be sent back home; they dispersed.
This was not the only protest that happened in Chennai as migrants had gathered at Mogappair too and they demanded to go home.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu Governor has designated Atulya Misra, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Revenue and Disaster Management Department Government of Tamil Nadu and nodal authority to regulate the issues relating to the movement of stranded persons in the state including pilgrims, tourists, students, migrant workers and others.
Tamil Nadu govt arrange for food, shelter and basic necessities
The Tamil Nadu government is doing its bit for the stranded migrants by providing them shelter and food, along with other basic necessities. Apart from that, the state has now opened an online portal for people to register for passes to move intra-district, inter-district and inter-state.
There have been similar protests in other states too where migrant labourers have demanded that they should be allowed to go back to their native places as there is no money and no jobs for them during this period. Hundreds of migrant workers in Gujarat's Surat city had gathered on April 28 and demanded that they are allowed to return to their native States.