Headlines May 7, 2020
Karnataka cancels trains for migrant workers to return home
On Thursday, the Karnataka government announced that they have cancelled all trains for migrant workers to return back to their homes. Reportedly, this was decided after Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa held a meeting with builders in the state who requested for the workers to stay back so that construction and building works can resume soon. Chief Ministers of all the Indian states have been reaching out to migrant workers and requesting trains to central government so that they can return back home. Karnataka’s stand towards the migrant workers have created quite a controversy and revoked outrage too.
The decision to go back or to stay back should be with the labourers & not with the government. Labourers are free to choose health or work. Who will take responsibility if something goes wrong? Are we still practicing bonded labour? For me #MigrantLivesMatter- Siddaramaiah, Congress leader.
The state government had earlier asked for two trains each day to transport migrant workers. All these trains have now been cancelled. Those who returned back already had to pay Rs 800 to Rs 1000 as ticket fares depending on their destinations.
The state government assured that all the workers will be taken care of. Concerned officials have already requested for cancellation of all the trains.
There are over 1 lakh migrant workers across Karnataka. Most of them are from Orissa, Bihar, Bangladesh and Nepal too.
Reactions on social media
Clearly, the BJP state government’s move to cancel trains has been considered as insensitive and brutal by many renowned personalities including opposition party leaders. Many of them took to their social media to share their views.
“What’s the right word for this? Indentured labour? Slavery?”, tweeted writer Mitali Saran.
“It’s shocking that a (apparently) democratically elected government could have the gall to do this. A sign of the times that they think it will be given a pass. Disgusting. Karnataka govt stops trains for migrant labourers: ‘Don’t we have rights?”, tweeted media personality Abhinandan Sekhri.
“Karnataka cancels special trains for migrants after CM meets builders. Can’t migrants decide what is good for them? Are migrants now bonded laborers of builders? Is BJP mad or just anti-poor?”, tweeted author Salman Anees Soz.
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