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Mamata Banerjee opens up places of worship from June 1 in West Bengal, refuses to take migrants back saying Shramik Express trains are Corona Express trains

"In the name of Shramik Express, Indian Railways is running Corona Express," Mamata Banerjee said

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is all set to open the places of worship from June 1. However, while announcing the relaxations, the TMC Supremo also claimed that the number of coronavirus cases is increasing in the state due to the incoming of the migrant workers. The West Bengal government has relaxed lockdown norms in religious places in the state from June 1, saying that no more than 10 people will be allowed at a time.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Friday, “Temples, Gurudwaras, Mosques and all religious places in the state are closed. They will open from June 1 but not more than 10 people will be allowed at any given point of time. No assembly would be allowed in religious places,” Mamata said. She added,”all private, public & govt sector offices will open from 8th June, while all tea and jute industries in the state will be 100% operational from 1st June.”

Mamata Banerjee refers Shramik special trains as corona express

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee again targeted the centre’s drive to ferry migrant workers through Shramik special trains. Mamata Banerjee has said that Indian Railways is running ‘corona express’ in the name of Shramik special trains.

She further questioned why Railways is sending thousands of migrant laborers by a single train. She said, “Law is equal for all but why the trains are running in full capacity? Why railways is not maintaining social distancing?” She alleged that passengers are not being provided with food and water in the trains.

“In the name of Shramik Express, Indian Railways is running Corona Express. Why extra trains are not being run. I was Railway Minister once. I had increased coaches but why it cannot be done now? The Railways are bringing people from hotspot areas in huge numbers,” she added.

Center accused Mamata Banerjee of not cooperating in dealing with migrant crisis

Earlier, the Home Minister Amit Shah had levelled serious allegations against the Mamata Banerjee government that they are not supporting the Centre in resolving the migrant crisis. Indian Railways had echoed similar sentiments.

The Indian Railways asserted that while it has run more than 3,543 Shramik Special Trains and has transported more than 44 lakhs stranded migrants to their home States as on 26th May, several opposition-run states had approved only a minuscule number of trains. West Bengal, a state which sends a large number of workers to other states, has given approval for only 60 trains. Just to put this in perspective, Uttar Pradesh has given approval to 1,548 trains and Bihar has given approval to 1,307 trains till date, this just shows how there is a huge difference in states in approving the trains. Moreover, West Bengal has stopped receiving trains carrying migrants back home due to the cyclone Amphan.

A Railway Ministry official had said, “leaders like Sonia Gandhi and Mamata Banerjee are responsible for the poor state of affairs of stranded migrants. All they had to do was to cooperate with Indian Railways in bringing the migrants back home. It is sad to see that they chose politics over human life.”

Earlier, reports had emerged that suggested that the Mamata Banerjee government had abandoned the stranded tourists stuck in Uttarakhand as the state government had been unresponsive despite repeated requests that have been made by the migrants.

The Uttarakhand government claimed that hundreds of tourists from West Bengal are stranded in Haridwar since the beginning of the lockdown and the Mamata Banerjee-led government has not bothered to make any arrangements to allow them to return to the state.

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