Indian police fired tear gas on Monday to scatter migrant workers during clashes in the western state of Gujarat, officials said, as authorities relaxed one of the world's strictest lockdowns to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
The nationwide lockdown, extended twice since it was adopted on March 25, is being eased in some areas, but will run until May 17, the government said last week. The tally of infections stands at more than 42,500, with 1,300 dead.
About 1,000 stranded workers seeking help to return to homes in states across India gathered on the outskirts of the industrial and diamond-processing city of Surat, but threw stones at police who ordered them to break up, an official said.
‘The police fired tear gas shells to disperse protesters,’ a police official in Kadodara, near the site of the clash, told Reuters, seeking anonymity as he was not authorised to speak with media.
Television showed images of police entering buildings and homes in the area and detaining people.
Surat has suffered incidents of labour unrest since the lockdown began.
The shutdown endangers the economic survival of many of India's estimated 140 million migrant labourers, though officials say it is key to beating the virus in a nation of 1.3 billion people, where health services are already stretched.
LEAVE A COMMENT Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*
Helicopter crashes with India military chief on board, at least 3 dead
Putin lauds India as energy and military ties bolstered
At least 14 civilians mistakenly killed by Indian forces in remote northeast - officials
Vaccines, prior infections to blunt Omicron impact: India
India reports first Omicron cases, no plan for boosters
India says Omicron shows up on tests, advises states to ramp up checks
Malabar Gold & Diamonds launches its first Artistry Concept Store in India
AFP/ Burhanpur, India
India set to begin overseas flights, tightens Covid variant screening