Gujarat: 11 migrants held for trying to reach Odisha on bicycles
Navsari: Eleven migrant workers were arrested in Gujarat”s Navsari district while they were heading from Surat to their native places in Odisha on bicycles during the coronavirus-enforced lockdown, police said on Tuesday.
The workers took a wrong route to reach Odisha, located around 1,500 km from Surat, and they were caught by Navsari police on Sunday when they were passing through National Highway No.48, which connects Gujarat to Mumbai, police inspector P P Brahmbhatt said.
They were arrested under IPC Sections 188 (disobedience to police order), 269, 270 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life).
They were later released on bail and sent back to Pandesara area of Surat, the official said.
“These workers from Odisha were jobless since several weeks due to the lockdown. They were desperate to go back home as they had no money and were facing food shortage. They had planned to cover 1,500 km on bicycles, but lost their path and started cycling towards Mumbai via Navsari,” said Brahmbhatt.
Their plan was to reach Odisha in 15 days by covering around 100 km everyday, another police official said.
Left with no money, they were carrying dry poha (flattened rice flakes), which they planned to eat by adding water whenever they felt hungry during the journey, he added.
In the past few weeks, hundreds of migrant workers from Odisha and other parts of country staged violent protests in Surat, demanding that they be sent back to their native places.