In an unprecedented scene in Mumbai's Bandra railway station, thousands of migrant labourers gathered at the station on rumours of special trains to Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. The train was scheduled for Purnia in Bihar from the Bandra station for which the thousands of passengers registered with state authorities were scheduled to travel.
As per the reports, the migrants were informed of the train service. They even received phone calls from the police station informing them about the special trains being arranged for them from Mumbai.
Migrant workers crowd in Bandra station
The migrant workers thereby started arriving at the station at around 9 am but in just a few hours there saw a sudden rise in their numbers that in no time, around 4,000-5,000 labourers gathered at the station.
Yet, the officials allowed only about 1,000 people who had registered for the service to board the Shramik special train.
The major chunk of workers, who neither registered themselves to travel nor were called by the state authorities was forbidden from the service and was later dispersed by the police. Lost of all their hope, these people were seen gathered on the bridge and the road near the station.
According to the Western Railways, the bonafide passengers were checked and allowed to enter the station by the state machinery.
"Today, a Shramik Special train was scheduled for Purnia from Bandra Terminus for which passengers, registered with state authorities, were to travel. But many people who were not registered and not called by state authorities gathered on the bridge and road near the station," said Ravinder Bhakar, Western Railway CPRO.
"Bonafide passengers were checked and allowed to enter the station by state machinery and the train left Bandra Terminus at about 12 hours with 1700 labourers and their families who were entitled to travel. Later, the crowd was cleared from the area by the city police," he added.
Four people arrested
Meanwhile, four people were arrested for spreading the rumours about the Shramik trains being run for migrants who are willing to travel to Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.
In addition to this, a similar throng of migrants was seen in at Chandigarh and Bhopal railway stations according to the reports.
The train left Bandra station at around 12 pm with 1,700 labourers and their families. The Indian Railways has been operating 1,565 Shramik special trains since May 1 and ferried over 20 lakh stranded migrants to their native states.
As a matter of fact, all the migrants who gathered at the railway station to board the train tossed aside the social distancing measures, has now been another major concern for the authorities. Moreover, Maharashtra is the worst-hit state in the country due to the Covid-19 pandemic.