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Coronavirus lockdown: SC to hear petition on mass exodus of migrant workers

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New Delhi, Mar 29: The Supreme Court will on Monday hear a petition seeking relief for thousands of migrant workers, leaving cities amid nationwide lockdown. The hearing will take place via videoconferencing.

The plea has sought court orders to provide shelter, food and medical aid to the workers who are fleeing from urban areas across the country.

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The petition was filed by Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava has sought urgent indulgence to the plight of migrant workers and their families, who are walking on foot to their villages since transportation is not available and state borders have been closed after the lockdown call.

"The biggest sufferers of this crisis situation are the poor, unregistered migrant workers, working in various big cities of India as rickshaw-pullers, ragpickers, construction workers, factory workers, house-maids, servants, unskilled and semi-skilled workers," the public interest litigation, filed by lawyer Alak Alok Shrivastava, read.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week announced a total shutdown in the country to check the transmission of the highly contagious virus.

Thousands of daily-wage migrant workers left the big cities for their hometowns on foot, as all transport services were halted because of the lockdown.

The Ministry of Home Affairs today ordered the state governments to seal their borders and strictly enforce the lockdown. The centre also asked to provide food and shelter to those stranded, including migrant workers. It also asked them to put in quarantine those who have already left for their hometowns.

Coronavirus has killed 27 people in India, with total active cases crossing the 1000-mark.

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