Gujarat lockdown: Protests by migrant workers erupt again in Surat, this time over quality of food being served

Last week, migrant workers had engaged in stone pelting and arson in Laskana area of Surat as they were demanding buses to send them back.

Representational pic. Photo Indian Express

Days after hundreds of migrant workers hit the streets in Surat demanding that buses be arranged to send them back, the Gujarat city famous for its diamond and textile industries once again witnessed a similar gathering on Thursday afternoon in an industrial area. According to reports, around 100 migrant workers gathered in the area in the afternoon and held demonstrations over the issue of food being served to them during the lockdown.

As soon as the administration learned about the incident, a police team led by DCP Vidhi Chaudhari rushed to the spot. Police said that the protest ended after officials convinced the workers to adhere to lockdown rules and assured adequate supply of food.

Police said that the migrant workers and their family members are mostly from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. They sat on a street in Pandesara area to lodge their complaint that the food being served to them is not as per their taste. “It was a small issue about their food. The situation was brought under control,” Chaudhari said.

Two days back, migrant workers had come out in large numbers in Varachha area demanding that they should be allowed to go to their native places. On Wednesday, hundreds of migrant workers had hit the streets in Pandol industrial area with a similar demand.

Last week, migrant workers had engaged in stone pelting and arson in Laskana area of Surat as they were demanding buses to send them back.

Thousands of migrants workers are stranded in Surat due to the lockdown that has suspended rail and road traffic and halted economic activities. Surat is a hub for factories, diamond polishing units and textile units. Lakhs of people from different states come here to earn their livelihood.

Meanwhile, the state government has ordered to impose a week-long curfew in five densely populated areas of Surat from Thursday midnight after 35 people tested positive for coronavirus in the city in the last 12 hours, a PTI report said. These areas fall under the jurisdiction of Salabatpura, Mahidharpura, Lalgate, Athwalines and Kamrunagar police chowky of Limbayat police stations. The curfew will remain in force till 6 am on April 22. Surat district has reported 86 coronavirus cases so far.

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