Unpaid and hemmed in, migrant workers erupt in anger at IIT Hyderabad

The Asian Age.  | jayendra chaitanya

India, All India

Unpaid and hemmed in, migrant workers erupt in anger at IIT Hyderabad

The IIT campus at Kandi village in Sangareddy distrct of Telangana. (Asian Age Photo)

 Hyderabad: Upset at not getting paid and barred from going home, some 1,600 migrant workers erupted in anger at their contractors on the campus of IIT Hyderabd on Wednesday.

They threw stones at the police when a force was called in, injuring an assistant sub-inspector and a security guard.

The riot took place at the IIT-H campus at a village called Kandi in Sangareddy district of Telangana, some 50 km from Hyderabad.

According to the Sangareddy police, 2,354 migrant workers, mainly from Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha and UP, were engaged by two companies to carry out construction work on campus.

Since the coronavirus lockdown was imposed on March 25, work stopped and payments to workers were delayed.

Things became tense in the labour camp Wednesday morning when workers wanted to receive their dues and go to their native places but were asked to resume work.

Police were asked to mediate in negotiations between workers and contractors but an argument over payment of wages became heated and an employee of the construction company was allegedly beaten up.

A large police force was called to quell the trouble but that only enraged the workers further. They attacked a police car and shattered its windscreen. Soon, however, the workers were dispersed.

 Sangareddy superintendent of police Chandra Shekar Reddy said the collector of the district did bring about negotiations between the companies and workers, who were owed two months’ dues.

PTI quoted Sangareddy district collector M Hanumantha Rao as saying that peace has been brought about between the workers and contractors, who promised to pay the dues by Thursday evening. He said the workers have agreed to resume work.

"We will again hold talks with them and after they give their consent work will be started," the collector said.

In view of the lockdown, construction firms have to look after the workers, he added.