A petition was filed in the Supreme Court on Friday seeking directions to the Central government and other authorities concerned to pay compensation to the family of all the migrant workers who died, or were injured during the lockdown.
The petition, filed by advocate Reepak Kansal, sought directions to the respondents -- concerned Authorities/ Department/ Governments -- to build up coordination and ensure health facilities to injured migrants worker at their respective place.
"The Supreme Court should also pass appropriate order directing the respondent (UoI) to save the migrants labourers from atrocities of police/security agencies during this nationwide COVID lockdown crisis," it said.
Kansal, in his plea, said that the news of accidental deaths, death and injuries of men, women and children due to walking on the roads have been reported in newspapers and electronic media corroborates the present problem of accidents of migrants.
The petitioner sought the indulgence of the top court to protect and safeguard the human and fundamental rights of migrant workers by directing the respondent to pay compensation to all the injured/sufferer and deceased migrant workers during the nationwide lockdown.
The plea also sought directions to the Central government to ensure proper medical facilities for injured migrant workers and other migrant workers who are on the way or reached their destination after walking a huge distance with great difficulties.
The nationwide lockdown has drawn attention to the plight of millions of poor Indians who migrate from villages to cities in search of livelihood and the national lockdown has left them starving and far away from their places, with no jobs, food, shelter and money, the plea said.
The problem of migrant workers is not entirely unique to India, but this sudden lockdown without prior arrangements and facilities, makes them suffer more by denying protection of their human rights as well as fundamental rights, it added.
It said that there was no proper arrangement and facilities for these migrant labourers prior to the announcement of nation lockdown and these migrant labourers are forced to live where they were or towards their native place.
The plea said that millions of migrants, carrying their belongings, filled the highways as they began fleeing the cities within hours of the announcement of nationwide lockdown.
It said that discrimination is being done with migrant workers by the respondent by adopting a pick and chose policy to pay compensation on the deaths of migrant workers. The respondent, UOI, had paid compensation on the death of a few migrant workers when it was highlighted by the press, etc, it added.
"No social security is provided to migrants, women labourers in order to prevent harassment, starvation and any kind of discrimination to migrants women labourers as per the international convention on the safety and security of women. The citizens/migrants have been suffering for food and shelter which is more than epidemic of coronavirus," the plea said.
( With inputs from ANI )