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3 youths, 2 girls return from Bihar on bicycles

By ANN Service

GOSSAIGAON, May 3 - Three youths and two girls arrived at Simultapu on the Assam-West Bengal border on Saturday by riding bicycles for over 400 km on the National Highway 31(C) from various places in Bihar.

These five persons had gone to Bihar in search of work in February before the declaration of the lockdown. They were looking for jobs but could not manage to find any. On March 24, when the nationwide lockdown was declared, they started feeling lonely, and finding no other options, they somehow managed to purchase five bicycles and started their homeward journey. After riding continuously for five days, they arrived at Simultapu on Saturday.

On receiving information, Gossaigaon police along with civil administration staff took them for medical check-up and later sent them to the Dhaulaguri orphanage for quarantine.

The three youths were identified as Shankar Munda (26), Rajesh Munda (27) and Alexcious Gori (24), all from Subankhata village in Baksa district. The girls were identified as Jasanta Gori (25) and Nandi Ekka (24) from Sagunbari village in Udalguri district.

18 carpenters on way to Bihar held: As many as 18 persons, all of them reportedly working as carpenters who were facing starvation due to the lockdown, were held at Simultapu on Saturday. They were coming from Khanapara, Guwahati on foot and were walking towards Bihar. The carpenters were sent for quarantine by the civil and police administration of Gossaigaon. These people had reportedly crossed over the Assam border, but were again chased back towards Simultapu inside the Assam boundary by West Bengal Police.

76 labourers walking towards Bihar held: As many as 76 persons in two groups � 16 from Guwahati and 60 from various places in Meghalaya � who are residents of Bihar and were working as labourers, reached Simultapu by walking for 5-7 days. The 16 persons from Guwahati are residents of Darbhanga in Bihar and the rest are from Khagaria district. The first batch arrived at Simultapu on April 29 and the second on the next day.

They wanted to cross over to West Bengal, but police detained five of them and the rest were chased towards the Assam border. All the labourers spent sleepless nights at a petrol pump on empty stomachs.

Simultapu police at the instance of the Gossaigaon civil administration quarantined the 71 persons, while the five detained in West Bengal were sent for quarantine at Barobadha.

Questions are being raised as to how these people were able to cross inter-state borders without the knowledge of the administration and police.

16 youths reach Gossaigaon from Siliguri on foot: A total of 16 youths working in various industries as well as labourers in Siliguri reached the Gossaigaonhat Railway Station on April 30 on foot. They were detained by railway police.

Due to financial hardship and disruption in the communication system, they took the decision to walk a distance of around 250 km, all the way from Siliguri, and arrived at Gossaigaon after four days. The youths walked on the railway track from Siliguri, and were looking tired and hungry, police stated. The youths are residents of Barpeta and Goalpara districts. Police later sent the youths to quarantine camps.

Man reported missing: A 48-year-old man, identified as Subhash Chandra Saha, a resident of ward No.1 in Gossaigaon town, has been reported missing since March 21. His family members said Saha had gone to Siliguri by the Kanchanjunga Express, and since then his whereabouts have not been known. An FIR has been lodged at the Gossaigaon Police Station.

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