Visakhapatnam: Two migrant workers set out from Puducherry for their home town in Odisha on bicycles. They covered 1,200 km and travelled crossed four states. Unfortunately, their luck ran out and they were caught in Vizag. The Vizag police have sent them to a quarantine centre for 14 days. As a mark of punishment, the Vizag police have decided to quarantine those who defy lockdown.
The two men, Diptiranjan Swain and Ganeswar Behera, are from Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district. They went to Puducherry in February to work at a private firm. But once the lockdown was imposed in the country, they were left with no money to pay their house rent. So, they decided to return home and on 12 April, started their journey with a few bucks in their pockets.
The duo travelled across Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and entered Andhra Pradesh, travelling around 1,200 km. They cycled every day for 12 to 14 hours and covered 180 to 220 km.
Ganeswar said they would have reached their villages in two or three days if they had not been detained. He said they have been sent to an isolation centre set up in a college. Diptiranjan said they were left to fend for themselves after the lockdown. “We did not get food from the local people. We took shelter at petrol pumps at night and stayed hungry and thirsty while all the time thinking of our families back home,” he said. In a video, the two have appealed to the Odisha government to rescue them.
Meanwhile, Vizag city police have started sending lockdown violators to shelters or quarantine centers for 14 days to prevent people from roaming unnecessary. “To instill discipline among people, we started sending people either to shelters or quarantine centers for 14 days,’’ Deputy Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) S Ranga Reddy said.