coronavirus update indiaas on : 22 September 2020 06:08 GMT+5:30
At IIT-Hyderabad, Migrant Workers Attacks Employers, Police Calls For Wages
The workers attacked the officials of the construction company who had come to request them to resume the work and the police who arrived later to pacify them, throwing stones and vandalising vehicles.
Cops At IIT-Hyderabad, Demand Wages, Migrant Workers Attacks Employers
NEW DELHI: The workers attacked the officials of the construction company who had come to request them to resume the work and the police who arrived later to pacify them, throwing stones and vandalising vehicles. At least one police officer was injured.
Violence flared near the IIT Hyderabad campus in Telangana on Wednesday as hundreds of migrant workers employed at a construction site near the engineering college demanded salaries and permission to go home.
Around 2,600 workers - many from states like Bihar and Madhya Pradesh - complain that though they have been housed in facilities near the campus and receiving food, they have not received salaries for nearly two months as work was stopped amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
Around 2,400 migrant labourers who were working at construction sites in IIT Hyderabad staged protest today morning, demanding they be sent back to their homes: Sangareddy Rural Police. #Telangana pic.twitter.com/xvhGaIcFb2— ANI (@ANI) April 29, 2020
As part of the lockdown, the government has said that companies who have employed contract workers must keep paying their salaries for the months of March and April. This week, the construction company was allowed to resume the work.
The strict nationwide lockdown measures, such as severing transport links, have taken a toll on India's estimated 10 crore migrant workers, triggering an exodus from cities where they worked in garment factories, building sites and brick kilns.
Police officials are reluctant to take a stern view of the incident yet and have told the workers that even if they are allowed to go home, their states may not be ready to take them back yet, sources said.
The construction company has promised to pay the pending salaries by Thursday. The workers were constructing a building for the IIT campus in the Sangareddy district.
Lakhs of migrant labourers say they are in limbo, struggling to access aid to survive the six-week lockdown in the states where they work and appealing for help from officials back home.
The government, which has been criticised for announcing an abrupt shutdown without planning and preparation two months into the pandemic, announced a Rs 1.7 lakh crore aid package to help the poor, including migrant workers, but relief has been patchy.