Headlines September 17, 2020
Centre blames migrants exodus on fake news
The mass movement of migrants after India went into lockdown to fight the coronavirus was because of “fake news”. This was the shocking statement made by the government in Parliament on Tuesday. This statement came a day after the government said there was no question of compensation as there was no data on migrant deaths.
The Union Home Ministry said this in response to a question by a leader of the opposition asking about the steps taken to protect migrant labourers before the lockdown was announced. The leader asked why so many thousands of labourers ended up walking home and why so many died on the way.
“The migration of large number of migrant workers was triggered by panic created by fake news regarding duration of lockdown, and people, especially migrant labourers, were worried about adequate supply of basic necessities like food, drinking water, health services and shelter,” said Minister of State for Home Nityanand Rai.
He added that the centre was fully conscious of this and took the steps to ensure that people were not deprived of essentials.
Images of tens of thousands of workers leaving various states after losing their jobs and homes in the nationwide shutdown were compared by many to the terrible scenes of mass exodus after the Partition of 1947.
With no money or food to feed their families, many migrant workers walked to their hometown thousands of kilometres away. Many died on the brutal journey home.