Only distressed persons allowed to go home: MHA

New Delhi: In a fresh order, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Sunday directed all states and Union Territories (UTs) to allow movement of only “distressed persons” and clarified that the facility is not for persons residing at workplaces and wish to visit native places.

Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla in a letter to the state Chief Secretaries of all states have requested them to facilitate the movement of such distressed stranded persons who had moved from their native places or workplaces just before the lockdown period but could not return back due to the restrictions.

The clarification order followed the Home Ministry’s two earlier orders issued dated April 29 and May 1 allowing movement of migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded at different places due to lockdown imposed across the country to break the chain of novel coronavirus or COVID-19 pandemic.

“The facilitation envisaged in the Home Ministry’s order is meant for such distressed persons and does not extend to those categories of persons, who are otherwise residing normally at places, other than the native places for purposes of work and who wish to visit their native places in normal course,” the order mentions.

The fresh order was issued considering several persons approaching authorities requesting them to visit their native places citing Home Ministry’s earlier orders. The migrant workers, tourists, pilgrims and students got stuck after the Prime Minister on March 24 announced a 21-day lockdown. The lockdown was extended for 19 days till May 3 on April 14. On May 1, the government again extended the lockdown for the third time for more two weeks.