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West Bengal: More than 400 families block road in protest claiming they have not received food in the last 20 days

Women and children from more than 400 families were among those who protested on Berahampur-Domkal state highway

As the lockdown has been extended till May 3 in view of increasing infection of the coronavirus, the daily wage earners and the poor people are facing the most problems due to lockdown. Hundreds of people from Domkal municipality area of Murshidabad district of West Bengal have claimed of not getting food for 20 days.

They jammed a state highway for three hours on Wednesday. Women and children from more than 400 families were among those who protested on Berahampur-Domkal state highway. Most of the agitators were not wearing masks neither practised any of the safety norms.

The agitation ended with the intervention of the local administration. The President of Domkal municipality reached the spot and acknowledged that ration dealers had not increased the food supply quota in the below poverty line segment. Each ration cardholder should get five kg of rice and five kg of flour in a month.

As per reports, the state food and supplies minister Jyotipriyo Malik said, “There is no shortage of rice in Bengal. We have stored 9.45 lakh metric ton rice. We have enough rice to feed people by the month of August. Our government does not buy rice from the Food Corporation of India. We buy directly from the farmers.”

The minister claimed that the administration has also taken action on some ration dealers for not opening shops or giving full quota to the people.

Mahadev Das, a resident of ward number 10 of Domkal Municipality said, “Our region’s ration dealer Dulal Saha gave a kilo of rice to a handful of families in the last two weeks. It is not enough to feed a family of 4-5 members.” He said that most of the people of the area work as daily wage laborers in West Bengal and other states. “Our livelihood has been snatched due to the lockdown. We have been told that the central and state governments are giving free food to the poor.”

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