Ninety migrant labourers arrested in Surat after clashes with police

They had gathered in large numbers on roads, demanding transport to go home

Over 90 migrant labourers have been arrested in Surat after they clashed with police late on Sunday. The labourers had gathered in large numbers on the roads, demanding transportation arrangements to go to their hometowns amid the lockdown.

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The situation became tense in Ganesh Nagar and Tirupati Nagar localities late on Sunday after nearly 500 migrant workers residing there came on to the roads, Deputy Commissioner of Police Vidhi Chaudhari said.

Surat’s Pandesara area, where both localities are situated, is a hub of migrant workers, mostly from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, who work in powerlooms and textile processing units and factories.

According to police officials, when hundreds of people gathered, cops on duty tried to prevent them and asked them to stay indoors.

However, they started hurling stones on the security personnel, resulting in damage to police vehicles.

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According to officials, police fired 30 tear gas shells to control the situation and disperse the mobs that were going berserk.

Ms. Chaudhary said that her own vehicle was damaged by the mob during the clashes.

Following the incident, the cops arrested a few persons late on Sunday and the remaining were arrested on Monday morning.

“We have lodged an FIR against a mob of 500 people and arrested 93 of them. They were charged for rioting, attacking police, damaging public property and also under provisions of the Epidemic Diseases Act for defying restrictions,” Surat police official said.

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Surat is a hub of migrant labourers from a dozen States and work in processing units, powerlooms, construction sites and diamond factories.

More than 25,000 workers had already left after the lockdown was announced by the Central government.

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