- 18 Oct 2020
The problem arose when huge crowds in thousands swarmed in front of Bandra terminus near the Jama Masjid. To think that thousands gathered at a railway station without any belongings, is a bigger coincidence than Aditya Thackeray being called Rahul Gandhi of the Shiv Sena by a renowned journalist. A guy has been recently arrested by the Mumbai police who goes by the name Vinay Dubey..
Image Source : A gathering of people amid the lockdown at Mumbai, courtsey : ANI
Huge crowds of migrant workers burst onto the streets in Bandra and Mumbra in Mumbai on Tuesday, demanding to go home amidst the nationwide lockdown imposed in the wake of the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic. In Bandra and Mumbra, the crowds demanded that the state government should make arrangements for them to return home. The problem arose when huge crowds in thousands swarmed in front of Bandra terminus near the Jama Masjid. The gathering violated all the norms of social distancing and lockdown. Maharashtra, being the state with highest cases and deaths tally couldn’t have afforded a blunder of this magnitude.
The Maha Vikas Aghadi government didn't waste a single minute in pointing out fingers towards the central government. Be it the party Stalwart Aditya Thackeray or Home minister Anil Deshmukh , they started throwing questions on the Centre’s decision to extend the lockdown. They complained that this unplanned lockdown was the source of this mass confusion and the crisis. Aditya Thackeray went a step ahead and claimed that the state government repeatedly requested the central government to provide rail services to take back these migrant workers to their home states which are mainly Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Bihar.
Taking all these allegations into account here are some questions which the State government of Maharashtra needs to answer:
● Question : The excuse which is being provided is that the sudden declaration of the nationwide lockdown extension, caused the panic in the labourers. This excuse is pathetic to say the least. What about the state lockdown which was already extended till 30th April by Uddhav Thackeray, 3-days prior to the extension of the nationwide lockdown? Were these labourers allowed to gather in such huge numbers in railway stations and leave for their homes? Why would a labourer or a migrant have no problems with lockdown being extended till 30th April, but all hell breaks loose when same is extended to 3 days by the Prime Minister?
● Question :
Any person who wants to go back to their hometown will have some or the other belonging with them, ironically no female member was in the crowd. Some were also carrying sticks in the gathering, was it to incite violence? Why were the people gathering in front of the Bandra terminus not carrying any sorts of luggage or belongings, that too just males?
● Question :
Most of the trains which leave for UP, Bihar or eastern India leaves from the Lok Manya Tilak Terminus or the Kurla terminus, these labourers very well know that. Why did these people gather around the Bandra terminus, from where no trains run to UP and Bihar?
● Question :
If these labourers came from all parts of Mumbai why did the police not notice them? Unlike Delhi, no "bus services" were arranged for these labourers to reach the station. Then, shall it be assumed that the state allowed this gathering to take place?
● Question :
On 6th April, Uddhav Thackeray tweeted that his government has set up 4,653 relief camps for migrant labourers, This number magically changes to 4573 in his 13 April's tweet. What happened to 80 Camps, did they vanish into thin air?
● Question :
Congress MLA, Zeeshan Siddique opened up in an interview with the Times Now journalist that an important issue is the non-availability of food for these labourers. He said that he and his father, who is an ex-MLA were feeding thousands of people by their personal efforts but the state government has not provided with any ration, which it was supposed to. Why did the state government didn't look into such an important issue? Are those declarations of feeding and providing relief to around 7.5 lakh labourers all a PR stunt limited to BEST CM hashtag of the Bollywood fraternity?
There are ample reasons to say that this crowd was engineered or was a result of the failure of the state government. To think that thousands gathered at a railway station without any belongings, is a bigger coincidence than Aditya Thackeray being called Rahul Gandhi of the Shiv Sena by a renowned journalist. Aditya Thackeray tweeted on 29th March about their target: "stop migration and save lives! "and on Tuesday in an effort to divert the issue towards the central government complained that the state government was always in favour of transferring these people to their home states. Such hypocrisy!
Another reason to believe of it being a motivated crowd, was the rumour mongering which is similar to that of Delhi. It looks as if the masterminds in Delhi 2.0 gathering are at play in Maharashtra too. A guy has been recently arrested by the Mumbai police who goes by the name: Vinay Dubey, who is a vocal anti Modi critique on his social media handles. He was found circulating a video of him instigating these labourers to come out in large numbers and to protest against this lockdown. When we further researched about him, we came to know that he was an NCP election candidate and fought the 2012 UP Vidhan Sabha elections from the North Varanasi constituency. We also found his possible links with the current home minister of Maharashtra. Reports also suggest close links of his father Jatashankar Dubey with Home Minister Deshmukh.
Another instance is that of ABP Majha News channel which is the Marathi news channel under ABP group. They ran a story about a "Jansadharan express" to run from Mumbai to UP, Bihar and all those states where these migrants wants to go. They confirmed about the service whereas, railways only had a discussion about this plan and no solid step or decision was neither taken nor informed to public. This also fueled the engine of rumours.
Hope that the government of Maharashtra answers these questions and comes out with a logical explanation behind the crisis. Each state and UT should ensure that nothing like this happens again because it pushes India, a hundred steps behind in the fight with Covid-19. Thousands don’t gather just like that in a nationwide lockdown. It is not a rocket science to understand that larger politics is being done over the interests of people in states like Mahrashtra and Delhi. There is a sinister plan at play, to scavenge on the India’s COVID-19 efforts, so that some breads can be toasted on people’s lives during a pandemic.
The views, information, or opinions expressed in the article by the authors are solely their own and do not represent the views of any organisation or entity the author have been, is now or will be affliated. The Present Mirror is an open platform and gives freedom to express all kinds of views and doesn't necessarily represent them. Present Mirror or its author will not be responsible for any errors that may have crept in inadvertently and do not accept any liability whatsoever, for any direct or consequential loss howsoever arising from any use of this publication or its contents or otherwise arising in connection herewith.