With the Kerala government denying permission to cross the border, hundreds of Keralites have been stranded along the state border for several hours, subjected to inhuman conditions. As the state government is insisting on travel documents and passes issued by the district authorities, several people have been stuck at various check-posts bordering Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
While other states like Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu etc are hell-bent on bringing back the migrant workers and populace stranded in other states, the LDF Government in Kerala seems to be indifferent to Keralites who are stuck in various states, including border villages. Tens of thousands of them are impatiently waiting for the travel passes and permits to travel back to the states.
People from even low-risk areas were stopped at check-posts in Walayar, Muthanga and Thalappady. Hundreds including women and children are still left stranded without food and water.
Ignoring the inhuman plight of hundreds of stranded people, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan reiterated that those reaching the borders of Kerala without the required passes would be sent back. The fate of lakhs of people hangs in balance as the state government frequently halts issuing the travel passes.
As per reports, more than 600 people were stuck at the Walayar check-post in Palakkad, between the Kerala and Tamil Nadu border on Saturday. Among them were six pregnant women and elderly people, suffering from critical illness. As the state government turned a blind eye, people were forced to take shelter under trees and on the storefronts in Tamil Nadu area.
According to reports, several Keralites, including women and children, were stranded at the forest near the Muthanga border in Wayanad and at the Thalapady check-post in Kasaragod, between Kerala and Karnataka during the night.
The Kerala High Court took suo moto notice of the incident. In a special sitting on Sunday, the High Court ruled that the people stranded along the state border, who were denied entry on Saturday, should be allowed to enter. It also said that everyone should have a pass from where they start their journey and one from the district authorities of their destination.
Meanwhile, the state government informed the court that over 2.31 lakh Keralaites, who want to return to the state, have registered on the Norka-Roots web portal. However, the Kerala Government has not yet requested the Railway Ministry to start special service to Kerala from other states despite persisting demand from the Keralites stuck up
As on May 9, 2020, a total of 283 “Shramik Special” trains have been operationalized from various states across the country, in which 225 trains had reached its destination and 58 trains are in transit. At the request of respective state governments, these trains have ferried migrants to cities like Prayagraj, Chhapra, Balia, Gaya, Purnia, Varanasi, Darbhanga, Gorakhpur, Lucknow, Jaunpur, Hatia, Basti, Katihar, Danapur,Muzzaffarpur, Saharsa etc.