Maharashtra villagers bar entry of migrants
Amid Covid scare, residents of various villages in rural Maharashtra have barred the entry of migrants returning from cities like Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Pimpri and Chinchwad.
“Residents of villages are under pressure from their neighbours not to allow their relatives to return home,” a police official from Jalna district in the state’s arid Marathwada region said. Men and women from the region migrate to work in Mumbai, Pune, Thane, Nashik and other cities. However, with the Maharashtra Government shutting down businesses as part of a nationwide lockdown against Covid, the migrants are returning home.
“With inadequate healthcare facilities across rural Maharashtra, villagers are apprehensive about an outbreak of Covid,” Health Minister Rajesh Tope said.
During an online interaction with mediapersons, Tope said residents of several villages had banned the entry of people who had migrated to big cities.
“There should not be a social boycott of people, who have come home from the cities. Please, do not treat them as foreigners,” the minister said.
Videos of crowded state transport buses leaving the cities for rural Maharashtra have added to the panic. “Though the movement of buses within Maharashtra has stopped, villagers are worried about people sneaking in via private transport,” a police official from Aurangabad district said.
The minister himself added to the panic last week when he warned that people rushing home would spread the infection.
Meanwhile, panchayat officials at many places are going door to door to track down anyone hiding inside.
Courtesy: The Tribune