Coronavirus lockdown | Returning workers fight for food at Bihar railway stations – The Hindu

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Even as the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced on Thursday that migrant workers will be given free foodgrains for the next two months, a group of workers were seen resorting to fisticuffs to get food packets at Katihar railway station of Bihar.

In a video clip that has gone viral on social media, a group of hungry migrants are seen mobbing a person carrying a bag of food packets at the railway station, fighting and pushing one another.

A local journalist told The Hindu that the violent scuffle took place on Wednesday when a Shramik Special train, carrying workers from Delhi en route to Purnea, had stopped at Katihar railway station. The local administration had arranged for food packets to be distributed among the travellers. However, on seeing a person carrying a bag of food packets, the hungry workers did not wait for them to be distributed and mobbed the man.

In similar video which again was widely shared on social media, travellers from another special train from Delhi are seen looting food packets arranged by the administration at Barauni station in Begusarai district. As the group of hungry men push and shove each other, a baton-wielding policeman and some women healthworkers are seen standing by helplessly. “We’re too hungry…for several days, we had not eaten full stomach,” said one of the workers told a local journalist.

Thousands of migrant workers are coming in to Bihar from other States and district administrations have made arrangements for food and also supplying water bottles at the railway stations before transporting them to quarantine centers in their respective districts and blocks by buses. The State Disaster Management Department is running about 3,665 quarantine centres at the block level in districts where currently over1.3 lakh migrants are housed. About 2.5 lakh migrants are expected to reach the State in next one week by over 200 trains.

Bihar, so far, has reported 966 COVID-19 positive cases with seven deaths. More than 350 migrants have tested positive so far.

Watch | How can migrant workers be protected?

Source: Thanks https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-lockdown-returning-workers-fight-for-food-at-bihar-stations/article31584669.ece