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Maharashtra deputy CM seeks trains for migrant workers, cites law and order problem

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Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar has written to railway minister Piyush Goyal asking for special trains to take migrant workers home as he fears law and order problem might escalate in the state after 3 May when the second phase of the lockdown ends.

In the letter, the deputy chief minister said that the migrant workers who have been residing at the shelter camps in the state might take to streets on 3 May.

“This could lead to the law and order problem, like it happened in Bandra in Mumbai on the last day of the first lockdown,” Pawar wrote in his letter.

“The Railway Ministry should plan well in advance for the special trains for these workers to various parts of the country. The trains should be operated from Pune and Mumbai,” the letter added.

Earlier on 14 April, nearly 1000 out-of-work migrant labourers gathered outside a railway station in Bandra in Mumbai, demanding for trains to take them home, hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended the lockdown till 3 May to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had assured the migrant labourers in the state that his government would make sure that they are sent home once the lockdown is lifted.

“I give you my word that the Maharashtra government will take you to your homes, the day this crisis ends. I believe that when you go back to your homes, you should go back happily and not out of fear,” Thackeray said.

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