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To avoid a repeat of Mumbai, DCPs to keep tab on migrants

To prevent a repeat of the mayhem in Mumbai, where migrant labourers gathered in thousands wanting to return to their natives after the Prime Minister announced the extension of nationwide lockdown till May 3

To avoid a repeat of Mumbai, DCPs to keep tab on migrants
Migrant workers queue up for food at Ambattur


City Police Commissioner AK Viswanathan, on Wednesday, instructed all the Deputy Commissioners in the city to meet the migrant labourers staying at community halls and sensitise them on the COVID-19 situation.
Amid reports that labourers lodged at community halls in Guindy and Tiruvanmiyur staging a protest demanding they be allowed to return to their states, city police have intensified the vigil to monitor the movement of people in groups, both day and night.
When contacted, Guindy Inspector G Chandru denied there was a protest by labourers. “They raised their demands and Corporation officials agreed to arrange them. There are no issues now,” he said. About 12,000 migrant labourers are staying at different community halls while others are staying on their own.
Flower Bazaar Deputy Commissioner S Rajendran said the migrant labourers have been briefed about the lockdown extension through the representatives of various North Indian associations in the city.
“Of course there is a dejection among them that they could not go back to their state and had to be confined to a room without a job. But when explained in their native language, they seem to be responding positively to the situation,” said the official.
“Instead of police addressing them, people of their language speaking to them works psychologically too. We have told them that public transport including trains will not operate until the lockdown is lifted and assured that their welfare would be taken care of. Both the DGP and the Commissioner are particular that the welfare of the migrant labourers is addressed. The labourers too agreed to comply with the orders and stay indoors,” he added.
While Corporation officials ensure that their basic amenities are taken care of, police are providing them with essentials through sponsors and well-wishers, so that they can cook as they wish. Also, health officers are periodically visiting the community halls and checking their health status.
However, as a precautionary step, a team of police personnel, led by an inspector, has been posted at the MGR Chennai Central to thwart any kind of gatherings due to the spread of misinformation.

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