Meghalaya govt rubbishes allegations of returnees being kept waiting at Resubelpara with only chips and 500 ml water as snacks amid COVID-19 lockdown
Shillong: Several videos and images are now doing the rounds of social media of people from Meghalaya stranded in various parts of Northeast returning to the state. However, it is being alleged that some people kept waiting at Resubelpara were served only chips and 500 ml water as snacks. It is also being alleged that they remained hungry till 6 pm on Wednesday. Local villagers were forced to cook food and serve them allegedly after the administration did not arrange for food.
When asked about the development, Meghalaya deputy chief minister Prestone Tynsong refuted the allegations. “We have made good arrangements. No one has reported about being starved. At the entry point at Tura, the DC was present to provide food to the people returning till 4 in the morning. There might have been some people who were very hungry and had to take several servings. From the government's end, we provided them with food. We have made as much of arrangement as we could. And we believe that so far there has been no complaint.”
Meanwhile, Rinaldo K Sangma, a social worker, informed that they have been receiving several calls from migrant labourers stranded in Tinsukia. “Around 250 people are stranded without food and water since day before yesterday in Ledo police station in Tinsukia. The government sent them messages telling them to come and report there but the government bailed out and they're still there. We have called the government helpline number but they were also helpless.”
Concerning the people left starving at Resubelpara he said, “The people were made to wait at the checkpoints for hours without food or water. Little children were left crying. On contacting the DC from Resubelpara, he said since all buses reached at one go, he was helpless to do anything. DC Tura could not be reached, but later he said that he sent a magistrate to take stock of the situation.”
EastMojo contacted Sanjay Sangma, one of the migrant labourers at Ledo He said that as advised by the government, he reached the station on May 5 and had also submitted his documents.
When asked, if any arrangement were made by the government, Sanjay said that they were spending from their own pockets. No arrangements have been made and they were left stranded at the police station, he said.
“The bus is here but we are still waiting here for almost two days. We haven’t been provided with any food or lodging. We are over 200 labourers waiting to go back home,” Sanjay said.