The Hindustan Times – ‘Ensure no migrant worker has to walk on road or railway track’: Home ministry to states

Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla asked the state administration to make designated rest places on routes taken by the migrants to reach their homes.

Amit Chaturvedi

New Delhi – India, 19 May 2020. The Union Home Ministry has directed all the states to cooperate in order to mitigate the distress of migrant workers, who are walking towards their native places on foot from various parts of the country.

In his letter to the chief secretaries, Union home secretary Ajay Bhalla asked the states to coordinate with the railways ministry for running more special trains to ferry the migrants.

Bhalla also asked the state administration to make designated rest places on routes taken by the migrants to reach their homes. These places can be identified with the help of district administration, and NGOs can help in building them, he further said in the letter.

The home secretary also asked the states to take into account the requirement of sanitation, food and health at these rest places and alleviate the notion of long quarantine at these places.

He also said that district administration and states should make sure that no migrant worker has to resort to walking on roads or railway track.

The letter, sent on Monday, was posted on Twitter by the home ministry spokesperson today when three different accidents claimed the lives of more than a dozen migrant workers.

Nine labourers were killed in Bihar’s Naugachia in early hours of Tuesday in a head-on collision between a bus carrying migrants and a truck. Five others were injured.

The truck fell into a ditch after hitting the bus.

In another accident, four migrant workers were killed and 15 others injured after a bus they were travelling in crashed into a truck in Maharashtra’s Yavatmal early on Tuesday. The bus was travelling from Solapur to Jharkhand.

Three migrant labourers were killed and more than 12 injured after a vehicle carrying them overturned on a highway late on Monday in Uttar Pradesh’s Mahoba district. About 17 people were travelling in the vehicle when the accident took place on the Jhansi-Mirzapur highway.

Earlier on Monday, at least six migrant workers were killed and several others were injured in separate road accidents in Bihar when they were returning home during the ongoing lockdown to combat the coronavirus outbreak. The accidents took at Gopalganj, Bhagalpur, Patna, Bhojpur and Begusarai districts.

The Tribune – Labourers shuttled back to Punjab from UP border, feel they ‘don’t belong to this country’

Karam Prakash – Tribune News Service

Patiala – Panjab – India, 18 May 2020. Over 150 Uttar Pradesh bound migrant labourers held a protest on National Highway near Punjab and Haryana border on Sunday.

The migrant labourers protested at the Shambhu border after they were dropped back from Haryana-UP border. In fact, labourers had reached the Haryana-UP border and about to cross into UP when Haryana authorities picked them and dropped them back to Punjab.

The migrant labourers reportedly walked over 200 kilometres from Ludhiana to UP-Haryana border. Unfortunately, when the migrant labourers tried to enter Uttar Pradesh, they were stopped by Haryana Police.

The labourers were huddled into three roadways buses and dropped at Haryana-Punjab border near Shambu village. Anguished over this, the labourers staged a sit-in protest at the highway for an hour.

Heart-wrenching scenes were witnessed when the labourers broke down into tears and pleaded the authorities to drop them to their native places in Uttar Pradesh. In the meantime, the officials from Patiala reached the spot and pacified them.

Mahesh Kumar, a migrant labourer, who walked from Ludhiana, said that they were dropped back into Punjab by Haryana Police.

He said, “We walked over 200 kilometres along with our children to reach home. However, I was stopped by Haryana Police.”

Another labourer, Vineeta of Lucknow, said, “We are stuck in the city and running out of money without jobs. We feel as if we don’t belong to this country. We don’t have any other option but to walk down to our homes. Sadly, they are not even letting us go to our home. We don’t want to die on the road. Please, let us go to our home.”

Manpreet Singh, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Ghanaur, who reached the spot, said, “We are asking the migrant labourers to stay in Punjab as the government is providing food and shelter to them. Today, we provided them food and asked to return to their cities in Punjab and register themselves for the train journey.”

Gentbrugse Meersen

Gentbrugse Meersen
27 March 2020

Entering the Meersen from Melle

Two quite big lakes next to each other

This one is near the Schelde

Trees with their ‘feet’ in water

Same here

Ducks, geese, coot

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

India Today – Amritsar temple priest repeatedly raped two women in confinement, arrested after police raid

The two victims, in a letter to Punjab State Commission for Scheduled Castes member Tarsem Singh, informed that they have been illegally confined and were being repeatedly raped by the Mahant and his men.

Manjeet Sehgal

Chandigarh – Panjab – India, 19 May 2020. Amritsar police has arrested a temple priest and his accomplice on charges of keeping two women in illegal confinement and repeatedly raping them.

The prime accused, identified as Mahant Girdhari Nath, was working as the head priest at Guru Gyan Nath Asshram Valmiki Tirath in Ramtirth Complex under Lopoke police station in Amritsar, police officials told India Today TV.

The two victims, in a letter to Punjab State Commission for Scheduled Castes member Tarsem Singh, informed that they have been illegally confined and were being repeatedly raped by the Mahant and his men.

The Lopoke Police on Monday raided the temple complex and released the victims from the ashram and arrested Mohan Girdhari Nath and his accomplice Varinder Nath. Two of his men identified as Nachattar Singh and Suraj Nath managed to escape.

“We raided the complex on the basis of a complaint filed by Tarsem Singh Sayalka and have arrested two accused. Those who are on the run will be arrested soon as police teams are raiding their possible hideouts,” DSP Atari Guru Pratap Singh said.

More details about the deeds of the rape accused priest are awaited. The police is currently interrogating Mahant Girdhari Nath and Varindernath.

Dawn – Seven soldiers martyred in two separate terror attacks in Balochistan: ISPR

Ghalib Nihad

Balochistan – Pakistan, 19 May 2020. Seven soldiers have been martyred in two separate terror attacks in Balochistan, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said on Tuesday.

According to the ISPR statement, terrorists targeted a vehicle of the Frontier Corps (FC) in Mach using improvised explosive devices (IEDs), claiming the lives of six Pakistan Army soldiers.

The martyred soldiers were identified as Naib Subedar Ihsan Ullah Khan, Naik Zubair Khan, Naik Ijaz Ahmed, Naik Maula Bux, Naik Noor Muhammad and Abdul Jabbar.

In a separate incident at Kech, another soldier, Sipahi Imdad Ali was martyred in an exchange of fire with militants.

Earlier this month, five FC soldiers and one officer were martyred after their vehicle was targeted with an IED near the Pakistan-Iran border.

In a tweet, the military’s media wing said the security personnel were returning from patrolling in Buleda, 14 kilometres from the Pakistan-Iran border, to “check possible routes used by terrorists in the mountainous terrain of Makran”.

As they were returning, their vehicle was targeted with a remote controlled IED, it added.