Around 20 migrant labourers who had returned from other states and were put under 21-day quarantine in Katihar district of Bihar have escaped, locals said on Tuesday. State DGP Gupteshwar Pandey requested them to return to the quarantine centre and also appealed to their family members to not help them hide. He issued a statement saying, “It is painful to file cases against such people. But this is a case of lockdown violation and we will have to file a charge-sheet against them.” According to the locals residing in the area, on Monday, around 20 people broke the locks of the main entrance of Rishi Bhawan quarantine centre and fled. They also informed that the labourers often tried reaching out to locals regarding a shortage of food. Ashu Pandey, a local RJD leader, said, “They kept throwing papers on the road and sought help from the neighbourhood.
They often wrote they were hungry and were not given food. At times the locals gave them tea and biscuits. The way they fled for want of food at the quarantine centre exposes the tall claims of the state government.” Locals claim that after the migrant labourers protested, the administration provided them with food packets. By afternoon as it started raining, the labourers took advantage of the situation and fled from the centre. The administration has launched a manhunt for them. More than 20 labourers belonging to Araria, Kishanganj, Purnia and Katihar had returned from other states after the lockdown and were kept at the quarantine centre in Katihar. As per government norms, a mandatory isolation and 21-day quarantine are essential to monitor anyone travelling from other states to detect the cases of Covid-19.