NEWS
27/03/2020 10:22 AM IST

West Bengal Coronavirus Update: Mamata Appeals To CMs To Help Migrant Workers, 450 Arrested In Kolkata

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was seen drawing circles on the streets of Kolkata to show people who to maintain social distance.

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Mamata Banerjee at Kolkata's Gariahat Market.

West Bengal police continued its harsh crackdown against many who were seen stepping out in Kolkata, with over 450 arrests between Wednesday and Thursday. 

Meanwhile Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was seen drawing circles on the roads to ensure people stay in them to maintain socials distance. 

The state has 10 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 and one person has died. 

While Bengal has many workers who migrate outside of the state to work, Banerjee wrote to other chief ministers asking them to take care of them. 

Harsh crackdown

A senior police official told PTI that they arrested over 450 in the city for stepping out during the lockdown. 

These people were booked at check points in the city. A total of 453 people have been arrested by the city police in the last 24 hours till 5 pm on Thursday for violating the Total Safety Restrictions, the officer said.

Of the 453 apprehended, 112 are from the north division and 75 from the eastern suburban division, the police officer said. As many as 65 offenders have been arrested from the south suburban and 62 more from the central division, he said.

A total of 42 people have been picked up in the south division of the city police while 40 apprehended from the port area and 30 from the south-east division for violating the rules, the officer said. The policemen also held 18 from the south-west and nine from the east division, he said.

All of them will be prosecuted under IPC sections dealing with disobedience of order, the officer added.

Mamata’s appeal to other states

Banerjee wrote to 18 chief ministers across India, seeking aid for workers from the state who are stranded in different regions of the country due to the lockdown over the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“Bengal has many workers, semi-skilled and unskilled, working in different parts of the country. Due to complete lockdown in the country for the Covid-19 pandemic, many workers from Bengal could not travel back and are stuck at different places.… Since it is not possible for us to reach any help to them, I take the opportunity to request you to kindly ask your administration to provide them with basic shelter, food and medical support during the crisis,” The Telegraph quoted her as saying. 

The chief ministers of Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Delhi, Odisha, Karnataka and Punjab were among those who received the letter.

In response, the Maharashtra government has responded saying they will make arrangements for workers from Bengal stuck in the state. 

Workers Walk From Bengal To Jharkhand

According to PTI, 27 migrant labourers walked from West Bengal’s Hooghly district to Jharkhand’s Dumka on Thursday, a distance of 160 kms. 

They left Hooghly on March 23 and reached Burdwan on some vehicle, officials said, adding that hey failed to any transport over there and started walking.

They wanted to go ahead with their journey on foot to reach their homes in Saharsa district, but were not allowed and have been moved to a shelter home in Dumka, sub-divisional officer Rakesh Kumar said.

All the labourers are male and have been put up in the shelter home and given food. Their health will be checked and untill further orders, they will remain here, he said. 

Mamata on the streets 

Meanwhile, Banerjee, who has been visiting hospitals herself was seen drawing  circles on the roads so that people maintained social distance. 

Anandabazar.com reported that Banerjee interacted with vegetable vendors at Kolkata’s Gariahat Market and showed them how to maintan social distance.