Migrant workers beat thalis in protest, seek wages, ration

Migrant workers beat thalis in protest, seek wages, ration

Several migrant workers clank empty utensils during a protest in Amritsar on Thursday. Photo: Vishal Kumar

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, May 28

Migrant workers protested by beating thalis demanding pending wages from factory owners at Focal Point industrial area here on Thursday. They also demanded that they be paid for the period for which the factories were closed due to the lockdown.

Shiv Kumar, a migrant worker, claimed that he was not paid for the days he worked. He said he had spent all his savings and had no money now. He said he applied online for going home and even received a phone call, but when they went to the railway station, they were sent back stating that the train was not going.

Another worker Rinku Rajbar, who, too, attended the protest, however, said he received all wages except for the period for which the factories were closed. He said the state government was providing ration only to local residents and migrant workers were not getting it. Rinku said he was stranded here along with two of his brothers.

The migrant workers demanded that the state government should provide them ration till they were not sent back to their respective states. The workers shouted slogans against the state government and beat thalis to express their anguish.

Mahesh Verma, a leader of the migrants who lead the protest, said: “Migrants have been contributing for the growth of the state but they are not being taken care of. Many migrant workers have already left due to the hardships. The Shiromani Akali Dal is with these workers during this time of crisis and we will gherao the Deputy Commissioner if these workers were not provided ration.”

Meanwhile, a group of migrants blocked the Bypass Road in protest against the government here on Thursday. They said they were asked to reach Maharaja palace stating that they would be sent to Ludhiana by buses, from where they would board trains to their respective destinations. They said they were asked to sit in the buses and then get off. They said it happened twice and they were finally asked to go home as no train from Ludhiana was available.

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