To stop anyone from using the entry point to Gurgaon near Salapur Khera, a wall is being built near Sector 21 …Read More
GURUGRAM: Facing restrictions at the border for weeks, nearly 1,000 people protested on Wednesday morning at Salapur Khera village along the Gurugram -Delhi border, saying they were unable to go back to work despite their factories opening.
Many in the crowd pelted stones at the cops manning the border post, injuring six policemen.
Salapur Khera is part of Delhi’s administrative territory but people here make a living working in various factories in Gurugram’s Udyog Vihar area.
Villagers said since their factories had resumed operations in Gurugram , they were keen on going back to work, but “are regularly blocked by police over passes”. Police filed a case against 800 people, seven of them local residents, while the MCG built a wall across a shortcut between the village and Palam Vihar in Gurugram that workers use to cross over.
Tempers rose swiftly after a group of residents of the village began a protest around 7.30am demanding the removal of police barricades from the pathway into Gurugram so that they could walk to their factories. They alleged they had inter-state passes but were being stopped because of arbitrary implementation of border curbs.
A senior administration official later clarified to TOI that other than those in essential services, no other pass holder is allowed to commute daily between the two cities because of tight regulations at the border in view of the pandemic.
But the rule has also added a layer of confusion among people on how essential services are defined and how one pass holder is different from another.
The protesters at Salapur Khera, led by a person named Girish, claimed that workers putting up in their houses as tenants — many of them migrants — were facing problems in going to work to industrial units in the Udyog Vihar area despite the government allowing them to call workers back to their shifts.
More people began joining the protest. As a police contingent was rushed there, the tension became palpable. Among the protesters, a group started pelting stones at the cops.
Police responded with a lathicharge. Officials said as many as six cops sustained injuries after being hit by stones. The injuries were not severe and none of them needs hospitalisation.
ACP (Udyog Vihar) Biram Singh told TOI a case had been registered against the protesters and a wall was erected to block the illegal road between Salapur Khera and Palam Vihar.
“The wall was in place earlier but villagers had razed it to create kuccha road over government land,” Singh said, adding inter-state movement of people between Delhi and Gurugram is allowed but “only with valid passes through legal entry points”.
Another senior police officer said an FIR has been registered under sections 147 and 148 (rioting), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharging duty), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt), 353 (assaulting public servant), 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 427 (mischief), 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC and Section 51B of Disaster Management Act at Palam Vihar police station against Girish, Amit, Anil, Ashish, Akash, Arun and Abhishek, and 800 unknown people.
A number of workers also assembled at the Kapashera border during the day, but they were also denied entry into Gurugram . Similarly, some workers from Delhi reached the Sirhaul border on cycles but were denied entry too. The workers waited for several hours and returned back home.
“For the past two months, we are without jobs. Now, factories are opening in Gurugram and we want to join our work, but police are not allowing us entry,” said Ram Yadav, who works at a manufacturing unit in Udyog Vihar and lives in Delhi.
Earlier this month, more than 1,300 industries in Gurugram received permission to start operating their units. Latest guidelines also permit industries in IMT Manesar to call 100% workers back.
Though passes are being issued for it, the government has also said workers coming from Delhi have to be put up in temporary accommodations by their employers to stop to and fro movement between the two cities. Neither workers, nor companies have found that to be feasible, leading to frustration building up among workers about not being able to return to their jobs and earn their wages.