In a video that has been circulated since Tuesday, Vinay Dubey is heard asking the government to organise a journey home for the migrants, since the lockdown “will be over on April 14”.
Mumbai: A man who allegedly started rumours that led to thousands of migrants gathering at Mumbai’s Bandra station last evening was arrested today. Vinay Dubey, a self-proclaimed labour leader, put out several social media posts around a campaign “Chalo Ghar Ki Ore (let’s go home)” instigating migrants stranded by the coronavirus lockdown, desperate to return to their native villages.
Mumbai Police is investigating whether his posts on Twitter and Facebook were potentially responsible for the rumors that drove hundreds to Bandra, in defiance of the lockdown and COVID-19 precautions for social distancing, and eventually led to a lathi-charge. The migrants were mostly from Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
In a video that has been circulated since yesterday, Vinay Dubey is heard asking the government to organise a journey home for the migrants, since the lockdown “will be over on April 14”.
“I request that after the lockdown gets over on April 14, the state government arrange trains to UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal. They can be quarantined once they get there… They are desperate here, they will die of hunger, if not from coronavirus…We will wait till 14th or 15th, if government does not do anything, I, Vinay Dubey, will start the journey with those migrants on foot…”
Vinay Dubey runs an NGO called Uttar Bhartiya Maha Panchayat and has been seen speaking about issues faced by workers from north Indian in Maharashtra. He had once invited Raj Thackeray, the chief of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, on stage to reach out to north Indians in the state.
He keeps saying in his videos that the migrants either have the option of heading home or dying where they are.
He was arrested from Navi Mumbai last night, the police say.
An FIR for rioting has been filed against nearly 1,000 people for Tuesday’s incident at Bandra, which took place hours after Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended the lockdown till May 3.