Dejected construction workers heading back to Jharkhand on foot stopped at Washermenpet

Frustrated after being left without a job or wages, a group of 55 construction workers from Jharkhand commenced the 1,600-km long journey to their hometowns by foot, only to be stopped by the police near Washermenpet on Monday.
The police hold talks with the workers in Mahabalipuram
The police hold talks with the workers in Mahabalipuram

Chennai

The workers, all of them men in their 50s, started walking from the employer’s facility in Guindy in the afternoon. But when they were crossing Washermenpet around 6 pm, the police stopped them. Inquiries revealed that they had no work or wages.
Washermenpet DCP Subbulakshmi instructed the personnel to give them food and water. Later, the workers were taken back to their shelters in two police vehicles.
Meanwhile, about 200 guest workers who were employed at resorts and hotels gathered in front of the revenue inspector’s office in Mahabalipuram after a rumour that passes were being issued for their return. On Tuesday. about 200 of them gathered in front of the revenue inspector’s office following a rumour that guest workers were being given travel passes. As they gathered violating the prohibitory orders, a team led by Mahabalipuram inspector Vadivel Murugan rushed to the spot and made them all stand a metre apart from each other. They then held talks using public addressing system. Later, they were made to register online for the travel passes at the e-seva centre and assured that they would be notified as soon as the arrangements were made for their travel. Following this, they dispersed.
Meanwhile, as many as 36 migrant labourers, who set to their native state of Rajasthan, managed to travel up to Natrampalli in Vellore district in a lorry from Chennai without any pass before they were intercepted by the police on Monday. They were brought here on Tuesday.
CHENNAI: The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has asked the Chief Secretary to submit a report following a complaint that 1,600 guest workers in SIPCOT Kancheepuram were starving for two weeks. The Commission also issued notice to the Collector, Commissioner of Revenue Administration and Disaster Management and Additional Chief Secretary (Labour and Employment department) after receiving a complaint from People’s Watch executive director Henri Tiphagne. The complaint alleged that 1,600 workers engaged in different manufacturing units in SIPCOT industrial estate were starving without food. For over a month, no government authority has come to help the workers, it added. Henri Tiphagne claimed that a representative from People’s Watch visited the place and confirmed the situation. “When we approached the respective factory owners, they were helpless. Workers had managed with one meal a day with the savings but are now in utter poverty suffering from total hunger,” read the complaint. The State and district administration should ensure that factory owners paid salary for the lockdown period, the complaint read. Admitting the complaint, the SHRC has asked the respective officials to submit the report by post.

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