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Over a million migrants workers have returned to Bengal, says Mamata

The Hindu, India, 4 June 2020 - Refuting allegations that the State is not facilitating the return of migrants, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday said that almost 1 million migrants had already returned to the State.

“If we did not allow migrants to return, then how come only by train 2.4 lakh people have returned so far. Another 1.5 lakh will return within June 10, and around 6.5 lakh have returned by road. If we are not allowing migrants to return, then how come 10.5 lakh will have entered Bengal by June 10?” the Chief Minister asked while addressing a video conference with district and State officials.


Speaking to district officials through a video conference that was telecast live on TV channels and on the social media handles of the Chief Minister, Ms. Banerjee said that what she had asked of the Centre about migrants was being misinterpreted. “What we had told the Centre was that if you had arranged for the return of the migrant workers before declaring the lockdown, then they would not have had to suffer so much for the last three months. Our second point was that those migrant workers who have been languishing [in different States] were not given proper food or treatment and no help was extended to them. Our third point was that train fares were taken from the migrant workers. Only the West Bengal government paid for the train fares [for those returning to Bengal],” she said.



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