Murshidabad residents block highway in protest over lack of supplies during lockdown


Protesters said they were forced to take drastic action because they faced “near starvation” and “crippling poverty”

Alamgir Hossain


Domkal (Murshidabad)

Posted on 04/15/20, 10:29 PM

The anger of the population at the lack of food spread on Wednesday in the streets of Domkal in Murshidabad.

More than 500 residents of Domkal Ward 10 blocked the Behrampore-Karimpur national road in Kuthi on Wednesday morning to protest the allegedly insufficient supply of rations during the lockdown.

Protesters said they were being forced to take drastic action despite strict social distancing measures as they faced “near starvation” and “crippling poverty”.

“The majority of us are salaried workers and domestic helpers. We have been out of work for almost a month and the last ration we received was over two weeks ago. It is impossible for us to survive with this, ”said one protester.

“I feed a family of six. We received 3 kg of rice and 2 kg of wheat over two weeks ago. For the past few days, my children have been crying with hunger, ”he added.

Sources said members of more than 100 families, including women and children, participated in the three-hour protest on Wednesday morning.

They had decided at the beginning of the week “to flout the standard of social distancing in order to draw the attention of the authorities to their problems”.

“We have no choice. We will starve otherwise, especially since the confinement has been extended,” said Hari Das, 38.

“I worked in five homes as a domestic helper, but they fired me last month because of fear of the virus. I am a widow with five children. I need help immediately, ”said Shefali Das, 42.

The president of the municipality Jafikul Islam, accompanied by police officers, addressed the demonstrators.

“People should have told me they were facing a shortage of rations. It shouldn’t happen. I asked the SDO to find out immediately why this happened, ”said Jafikul, who pledged 10 kg of rice and 10 kg of potatoes to each family present at the protest.

Following Jafikul’s promise, the demonstrators dispersed.

“We have filed a complaint against the local ration dealers and asked the food supply department to launch an investigation,” said SDO (Domkal) Sandip Ghosh.

“Food stores are open everywhere but these people don’t have the money to eat. It’s unfortunate, ”added a district official.


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