Ludhiana blast spreads fear among city’s migrant labourers

Ludhiana, Oct 16 : Sunday’s theatre blast in Ludhiana has left migrant labourers in the city scared, who now prefer to stay back at their homes out of fear for their lives.

An estimated 600,000 migrant labourers make a living in the city. The migrant labourers are mostly from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

Those, who have gone back to their native villages, are reluctant to resume their jobs in Ludhiana.

"We wonder if we are safe here? Will we get adequate protection and safety from the police in future? We are quite anxious and feeling increasingly helpless." said Hiralal, a labourer from Bihar.

This has also spelt unforeseen trouble for industrialists, as they are heavily dependent on migrant labourers.

"We are getting phone calls from relatives of labourers seeking to know what has happened. The sole means of entertainment for these labourers are movies and fairs, and if these venues are not safe, they won't stay back here. This will have an adverse impact on the hosiery industry", says Sanjay Kapoor, owner of a hosiery house.

Police claims the blast is the handiwork of the Punjab separatist group Babbar Khalsa.

The multiplex Shingar Cinema, was packed with about 600 people mostly from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar when the bomb exploded on October 14. The blast coincided with the Eid festival. (ANI)