Kolkata: The West Bengal government on Saturday said it had brought back around 6,000 residents stranded outside the state and ensured safe return of people of other states stuck here due to the lockdown, virtually refuting the claims of non-cooperation made by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
The state government is doing its best to ensure that migrant labourers — those stranded in Bengal and also the state’s people stuck outside — return home, West Bengal Home Secretary Alapan Bandopadhyay said.
Bandopadhyay said so far around 6,000 people, including migrant labourers, pilgrims and students of Bengal, stranded in other states have come back. “We have also issued 18,000 passes to small trucks so that those stuck in West Bengal can return to their states,” he said.
He, however, declined to comment on the letter sent by Shah to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on the issue of migrant labourers and said it is not his subject to comment on.
Shah has said the West Bengal government is not allowing trains with migrant workers to reach the state that may further create hardship for the labourers.
As the country is under a lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus, the central government has given special permission to states to ferry stranded migrant labourers, students, pilgrims and tourists.