Kolkata: When 300 migrant workers from West Bengal and Jharkhand complained of not getting water and food, then they were threatened by the driver of an official of the Dhanbad quarantine centre. He threatened to shoot the complaining workers.
The migrants labours stuck in the centre are mostly of West Bengal and a few from Dhanbad and Govindpur of Jharkhand had walked for two and half day from Aurangabad, Gaya, Sasaram and other districts of Bihar first reached Bihar-Jharkhand boarder.
Most of the migrant workers have been quarantined since March 30 at B.S.K College in Maithan, Dhanbad. Most of the stranded labours are from Murshidabad and Birhum districts of West Bengal.
These labours had been quarantined when the first lockdown was announced On March 23. The lockdown was to end on April 14. The tenure of the lockdown was however, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced extension of lockdown from April 15 to May 3. Thereby, putting the stranded labours in a sticky spot.
“We had begun the journey on foot. Later, a truck driver gave us a lift by a truck which took us to Jharkhand-Bengal border. We were stopped there as the inter-state border had been sealed. From there we were taken away by the Jharkhand official to stay in quarantine for 14 days,” Majir Hossain, a mason from Murshidabad told eNewsroom over phone.
Watch video of migrants at quarantine in Maithan, Dhanbad
All the migrants at the quarantine centre have undergone COVID-19 test, not once but many times and have tested negative.
Hossain further said, “It has been 17 days since we have been staying at the quarantine centre. Despite having tested negative, we are not being sent back home. We are not being given sufficient food. Today, when we complained about the same, the authorities did not provide us with water.”
“And when we demanded for water to be provided to us, the driver of one of the officials at the quarantine centre, threatened to shoot us. He said that nothing would happen to them even if they shoot us,” he stated.
The migrant worker added, “On Wednesday, we got lunch after 5.30 pm, there is no water available in the campus, where we have been quarantined. In the past four days, twice we were told that we are fine and that soon we would be sent to our homes. But nothing has happened thereafter.”
Panic struck migrants contacted Bangla Sanskriti Mancha (BSM), a non-government organization (NGO) for help. The NGO has updated Birbhum police officials about it.
“We have got the video and information from the migrant workers in Dhanbad. We have informed Birbhum superintendent of police Shyam Singh about it and he assured us for help,” said BSM’s Samirul Islam.