Labourers shuttled back to Punjab from UP border, feel ‘don’t belong to this country’

Labourers shuttled back to Punjab from UP border, feel ‘don’t belong to this country’

The migrant labourers protested at the Shambhu border. Tribune photo

Karam Prakash
Tribune News Service
Patiala, May 17

Over 150 Uttar Pradesh bound migrant labourers held a protest on National Highway near Punjab and Haryana border on Sunday.

The migrant labourers protested at the Shambhu border after they were dropped back from Haryana-UP border.

In fact, labourers had reached the Haryana-UP border and about to cross into UP when Haryana authorities picked them and dropped them back to Punjab.

The migrant labourers reportedly walked over 200 kilometres from Ludhiana to UP-Haryana border.

Unfortunately, when the migrant labourers tried to enter Uttar Pradesh, they were stopped by Haryana Police.

The labourers were huddled into three roadways buses and dropped at Haryana-Punjab border near Shambu village.

Anguished over this, the labourers staged a sit-in protest at the highway for an hour.

Heart-wrenching scenes were witnessed when the labourers broke down into tears and pleaded the authorities to drop them to their native places in Uttar Pradesh.

In the meantime, the officials from Patiala reached the spot and pacified them.

Mahesh Kumar, a migrant labourer, who walked from Ludhiana, said that they were dropped back into Punjab by Haryana Police.

He said, “We walked over 200 kilometres along with our children to reach home. However, I was stopped by Haryana Police.”

Another labourer, Vineeta of Lucknow, said, “We are stuck in the city and running out of money without jobs. We feel as if we don’t belong to this country. We don’t have any other option but to walk down to our homes. Sadly, they are not even letting us go to our home.  We don’t want to die on the road. Please, let us go to our home.”

Manpreet Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Ghanaur, who reached the spot, said, “We are asking the migrant labourers to stay in Punjab as the government is providing food and shelter to them. Today, we provided them food and asked to return to their cities in Punjab and register themselves for the train journey.”      

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