"They Told Us They Would Take Us Home": Migrants Protest In Karnataka

On Monday, thousands of migrants in Karnataka from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh protested on Tumakuru Road on the outskirts of Bengaluru city and sought transport facilities for return to their hometowns.

'They Told Us They Would Take Us Home': Migrants Protest In Karnataka

There has been a confusion on the ground in Karnataka regarding migrant crisis.

Bengaluru:

The sense of desperation among migrant workers across India - stranded amid the world's strictest lockdown - has become even more evident after the state governments started the process of allowing them to go home after weeks of shutdown.

On Monday, thousands of migrants in Karnataka from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh protested on Tumakuru Road on the outskirts of Bengaluru city and sought transport facilities for return to their hometowns. One of the workers said, "They told us they would take us home and brought us here. They cheated us. Is this fair? "

Things calmed down only after city police commissioner - Bhaskar Rao - went to the protest site and spoke to the workers in Hindi. "If there is a train now I will send you. But we need permission from there too," he told them. Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashok also met the protesters.

This morning, officials who met the migrants persuaded some of them to go back to work, now that some construction work has been permitted again. Many do remain at the Exhibition Grounds on Tumakuru Road where they are being provided food.

There has been a confusion on the ground in Karnataka regarding the current plight of lakhs of migrant workers.

At first, bus passengers heading home to other districts in Karnataka were charged by the state bus transport corporation - the Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation or KSRTC.

This prompted the state's Congress unit to hand over a cheque of Rs 1 crore to the KSRTC Managing Director - saying they should not charge migrants.

The state government later said that buses would be provided free until Thursday (May 7), adding that free meals would be provided for the journey.