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Police makes first arrest of migrant over protests


Migrant workers stage a protest, demanding means of transport to travel to their respective villages, during a nationwide lockdown in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, at Paippad village in Kottayam district, Sunday, March 29, 2020.


Thiruvananthapuram: Hours after Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan expressed his displeasure against the protest by migrant labourers in the Kottayam district and said those behind it would "be brought to book", the police registered the first arrest of a migrant labourer hailing from West Bengal.

Ahead of the arrest the district collector announced prohibitory orders under Sec 144 in the Kottayam district.

The police informed the media that apart from arresting Mohammed Rinju, the police have registered cases against 2000 migrant labourers for staging the protest on Sunday at Payipadu.

The police before recording the arrest checked the calls made by Rinju and it was found out that he had interacted with the media, before the protest was staged.

Vijayan pointed out that it was a purported act by vested interests, out to create trouble and would be dealt with strongly.

And the police started their probe on Sunday night itself and checked the mobile phones of many migrant labourers at Payipadu near Changnacherry in Kottayam district.

On Sunday morning, an estimated over three thousand migrant labourers from various states gathered at Payipadu in violation of the lockdown and demanded that they be sent back home.

They also staged a protest and after almost two hours they were chased away by the police.

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