Hundreds 'denied entry' to homebound train in Bengaluru, left helpless

"We are included in the list issued by Tengbang site but we were denied entry."

Hundreds of stranded Manipuris in Bengaluru were left helpless as they were allegedly denied entry into the train meant to carry them back home on Saturday, sources said. 

As per information received by the Imphal Free Press, since 2 am almost 3,000 people thronged the Palace Compound in Bengaluru, where screening and verification for the passengers are done. While the seat capacity arranged for the returnees from Bengaluru in the special train is 1,200, the remaining people, which exceeded more than a thousand was left with no option but to return to their rented place and hostels. 

A student, who is undergoing training in plastic engineering under CIPET at Bengaluru, Luwanglen Wahengbam, told the Imphal Free Press that he and four of his friends were asked to leave from the screening point by the officials and volunteers, saying that the train is already full.

“The same thing happened when we go for the first train which left Bengaluru on May 14 also. We are included in the list issued by Tengbang site but we were denied entry,” he lamented. 

He continued that they spend Rs 5,000 as transportation fare from their place to the screening point this time and the first time also. “However, the mismanagement by the officials is creating more problems for us during these trying times as we were not allowed to return home and our money is also depleted,” he stated and urged for arranging another train at the earliest. 

One RK Bimal, who worked in customer support, Flipkart in Bengaluru, said, “I waited from 8 am to 5:30 pm in the line but I was not allowed to even enter the screening point.” It was said that the train is full and will not be able to accommodate more people, said Bimal, who is now taking shelter in a PG accommodation.

Social media platforms were flooded with various students expressing disappointment at how they were left out despite being in the passengers’ list. 

Meanwhile, nodal officer appointed by the Manipur government for the state of Karnataka, Jacintha Lazarus said that Tengbang only provided a tentative list and there is no such thing as a confirmed list. “The people in the tentative list will be allowed to travel subject to screening and the decision of the host state. It was becoming impossible for the Karnataka officials to stick to the list as too many people turned up at the venue. So they give priority to women, children and people having medical conditions as per the SOP of the central government,” she clarified adding that around 200 people in the tentative list were left out.  

The nodal officer continued that the government will keep in touch with Karnataka government to sort out things concerning how to cater to the needs of the Manipuris still stuck there. “We will also see if we can arrange another train after consulting with the state government,” she assured. 

 
 
First Published:May 24, 2020, 10:29 p.m.