Migrants from across the country are trying to reach their native places since the enforcement of a nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 caused by a novel coronavirus. The truck drivers, however, are using the opportunity to their advantage by overcharging the travel fare to take the migrants to their destinations
The migrants, desperate to reach their homes, are being charged anywhere between Rs 2,500 to Rs 10,000 per person by the truckers to transport them to their places in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh by hiding them behind the wares in the truck, according to the police.
While the movement of vehicles has been prohibited during the lockdown, trucks carrying essential goods and eatables are being allowed to move. It is in these trucks, that men, women and children are being illegally transported.
While a lot of people moved on foot, those going far tried to take rides in the trucks and paid their hard-earned money for the same.
Some of the truck drivers were caught by the Delhi police. These drivers had promised the labourers that they would reach their native places in a couple of days.
The police claim that now they are also checking all essential commodities trucks extensively as in multiple cases it has been found that these truck drivers who were having a sticker of essential commodities but trying to hide these migrants behind the vegetables and gas cylinders kept in the trucks.
"We got a lot of trucks which were taking migrants to Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. In one such case, two trucks were caught carrying 72 persons including men women and kids on Monday. During the investigation it was found that migrants were asked to pay Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 per head to be transported to their native places," DCP Dwarka Anto Alphonse told ANI.
According to the DCP, in the last couple of days five such trucks have been seized from Delhi''s Najafgarh area.
In one such case, the migrants were hiding behind the stock of vegetables. Cops thought that the truck was carrying vegetables but when checked thoroughly, found dozens of migrants.
Similarly, migrants were also caught from a truck carrying cooking gas cylinders.
Senior officials said that such cases are being seen on all border posts.
"We have ceased multiple trucks from Dwarka district and West Delhi but this is not only restricted to these areas. Across Delhi, trucks have been seized ferrying migrants illegally," Joint Commissioner Western range told ANI.
In another case reported from West Delhi, cops found that migrants were asked to pay around Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000 to be ferried to Uttar Pradesh take them in trucks, according to DCP (West) Sameer Sharma.