Migrants go on rampage

Migrants go on rampage

Punjab government imposes curfew in five areas of Ludhiana

Migrants go on rampage

A truck set on fire by a mob of migrant labourers burns by the roadside in Ludhiana on Friday. AFPThe migrants were protesting against alleged police laxity in nabbing a gang of thieves which had been harassing and looting them over the past several months. Reinforcements of central paramilitary forces have been sought by the Punjab government to control the situation.

The mob, migrant workers and labourers, blocked NH 1 between Ludhiana and Sahnewal town for several hours. Several vehicles were set ablaze. Another group squatted at the railway tracks near Ludhiana and disrupted at least six trains.

Police resorted to cane charge, fired in the air and burst teargas shells to disperse the mob from the national highway which resulted in inconvenience to hundreds of commuters who were stuck up in the traffic jam.

Trouble had broken out on Thursday night in some parts of the town after a group of migrants went to lodge a complaint of snatching at the police station but their complaint was allegedly ignored. Irate migrants then circled the police station and started raising slogans against the police.

Later, the mob pelted stones at the passing vehicles on the national highway. Police fired in the air to control the mob. On Friday morning, the protesters  again blocked the highway for several hours.

The director general of police, P S Gill said here on Friday evening that additional reinforcements of central paramilitary forces had been sought. He said 23 vehicles including buses, trucks and cars were damaged and nine vehicles had been burnt. Gill however said the situation was under control and curfew had been imposed in five areas of the city as a precautionary measure.

The industrial city of Ludhiana hosts a huge population of migrant labourers and workers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar who work in factories and ancillary units. There are around 10 lakh migrants herein the city with a population of over 35 lakh.