Hundreds of people, mostly students, were seen standing in queues outside police stations across Hyderabad as authorities began issuing passes to those who wanted to return to their hometowns, as the 21-day nationwide lockdown began on Wednesday.
Serpentine queues were seen outside a police station in Telangana’s Kukatpally, ignoring calls for social distancing, as they waited for their turn. Kukatpally has many people who are originally from Andhra Pradesh.
Scenes were not different at the Andhra Pradesh-Telangna border as hundreds of vehicles were stranded for hours after police on the Andhra side refused to allow the vehicles at the border. “Many are students, those trying to get home. They are waiting here since the morning but not allowed to enter Andhra Pradesh,” said Ashok who shared videos on location over a live call.
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“For quite a few days there is no option because of their hostels being closed and food becomes a challenge as cooks are not coming in,” one young man told NDTV.
But Andhra police says they had no prior information about Telangana administration’s decision to issue passes. “When the Prime Minister said everyone should stay where they are, why did the Telangana authorities give permission and issue passes? Isn’t it their responsibility as well,” PV Ramesh, additional chief secretary to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, asked NDTV.
He, however, said the government would resolve the issue by allowing the present batch to enter the state but said no more should preferably line up at the border.
“Our chief minister sent flights to other countries to bring back our people. Everyone is welcome home always but these are very unusual times and no one must move” he said.
Telangana municipal administration minister KT Rama Rao said hostels would continue to function in Hyderabad and people could continue to stay on.
Two fresh cases of COVID-19, including a three-year-old boy, have been reported in Telangana, taking the total number of people infected with the virus in the state to 41, according to a government bulletin on Wednesday.
More than a billion people locked themselves yesterday as governments stepped up their efforts against the coronavirus pandemic. Ninety new cases were reported in India yesterday, pushing the total number of cases to 606, while the number of deaths was 10, according to the Union Health Ministry.