A report on the events at various police stations In Bengaluru on the 12th of May 2020

Yesterday I got a call from Avani, a lawyer working with a trade union. It was about going to a police station nearby and filling an application to help migrant workers stuck in Bengaluru to reach their home-states. In the next few minutes I got the cover letter (along with workers list of those wishing to return to home) for various police stations.

Konanakunte Police Station

Upon reaching the station, I saw hundreds of workers waiting outside with printouts of filled forms and Aadhar copies (no it is not a social security). Many were standing with packed bags to return home. They were waiting for the intimation of train details. The authorities had kept a box to drop the application forms. It had about 80 forms. I submitted the application to the Inspector, which included the list of more than 100 workers from Jharkhand, around 20 from Bihar and a few from Uttar Pradesh – all working for JMC constructions near Prestige Falcon city. A worker residing near that station, came to find work in Bengaluru 7 years ago. He is living with his wife, mother and his children and has a small petty shop. He is also applying to go back to his home state Bihar. He is so sure that his small business will not survive.

Puttenahalli Police Station

Apparently they sent 200 people this morning to Bihar. They mentioned that Kamakshipalya Police Station is responsible for assisting on the Jharkhand trains. The other stations were not aware of this information. The Inspector immediately received and acknowledged the application. They also said that they will inform if any trains are scheduled next.

Hulimavu Police Station

They were constantly refusing to take the application. First they claimed it is not in their jurisdiction. Later when the address was given, they claimed that today’s quota of 100 workers is over. Around 70 workers were waiting with their bags packed.

Ajij, from Jharkhand, working with Prestige Song of South said,

“Can you please help to book a bus for us to reach Jharkhand?”

I was puzzled.

“We are going to walk back otherwise. It is about 2000Km. Some of us are not sure if we will reach by walking” he continued.

“We keep coming to the Police Station almost for a week now,” said another worker working with Purva Sound of Water.

Thalaghattapura Police Station

In the station, they were reluctant to have any conversation. Binod, from Jharkhand, working with Starworth Infra, has been waiting for a week now to return home along with 7 of his friends.

“We did not get our salary from March”, even though they worked for almost that month.

“We got good ration once, but that is not enough. Now they are restarting the work, but it is only for permanent employees. We are not made permanent even after few officers promised that we will be”, he added.

“We are waiting to go home, we can suffer with the family, but not alone”.

The workers are extremely desperate. They are ready to pay the regular sleeper coach fare of around 1000 Rs but IRCTC is taking the bookings at the rate of Rajdhani express.

#BengaluruWithMigrants

Senthil J is working as a teacher


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One Comment

  1. Avatar Farooque Chowdhury says:

    Thanks for the useful article.