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'Lockdown is not lockup': Uddhav Thackeray assures migrants

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Mumbai, Apr 14: Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Tuesday assured that there is no need to panic and reiterated that the lockdown imposed due to the novel coronavirus pandemic is not a lockup.

Uddhav Thackeray

"Don't play politics, do not give any colour, those who disrupt the law and order, they will be punished heavily. If someone is trying to spread rumours and fuel fire especially among migrants will be punished," said CM Thackeray.

"Nobody wants that you stay in lockup without your will. Lockdown doesn't mean lockup. It is our country. You are migrant labourers safe in my state and don't worry. The day when lockdown will be lifted, not only me but Centre also will make arrangements for you, he added.

Thousands of migrants defy lockdown in Mumbai's Bandra; lathicharged by policeThousands of migrants defy lockdown in Mumbai's Bandra; lathicharged by police

"Today what happened in Bandra was unfortunate. It might have happened because they thought that trains will start from 14th April and so they would be able to go back to their villages," Uddhav said.

Over 1,000 migrant workers who earn daily wages gathered here on Tuesday demanding transport arrangements to go back to their native places, hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced extension of the coronavirus-enforced lockdown till May 3.

In viral videos, police were seen using mild cane- charge to disperse the migrants, who had gathered near the Bandra railway station in suburban Mumbai. Daily wage workers have been rendered jobless ever since the lockdown was announced late last month to stem the spread of COVID-19, making their life a constant struggle.

Daily wage earners, numbering over 1,000, assembled at suburban Bandra (West) bus depot near the railway station and squatted on road at around 3 pm.

The daily wage earners, who reside on rent in slums in the nearby Patel Nagri locality, were demanding arrangement of transport facilities so that they can go back to their native towns and villages. They hail from states like West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.

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