Sealed borders or not, 19 migrant labourers reportedly working in a stone quarry along the Assam-Nagaland border at Geleky area of Sivasagar district reached Phansi Ali in Jorhat, bang in the middle of the town on Wednesday evening.
The 19 youths claimed that they had walked all the way from Geleky on meagre amount of food and water and wanted to go home to Uriamghat under Dhansiri civil sub-division of Golaghat district.
One of the workers told mediapersons that they had set out on foot after food stocks got exhausted and the owner of the quarry and contractor who had brought them to work at the site allegedly abandoned them in the middle of the lockdown period.
People at Phansi Ali locality reported their presence to the district administration and also provided them with tea and biscuits.
They were later taken by police and administration officials and lodged at the Marwari Charitable Trust guest house at KK Baruah Road in Jorhat.
The group told news-persons on Thursday that as they ran out of food stocks three days ago and the quarry owner and the contractor who took them to the site did not respond to their calls they had decided to proceed towards home.
“We would have starved to death,” they said.
The Marwari Yuva Manch, an NGO provided some refreshments on Wednesday night and on Thursday after local journalists had requested the NGO as the group of youths alleged that they had not received any food.
When contacted, a district administration official said medical test of the youths were done by the Health department.
He said the administration was in touch with Golaghat district administration to send the youths to their home where they will be kept under quarantine.
Meanwhile, 13 migrant workers crossed over from Nagaland into Assam at Mariani in the district on Wednesday night and another seven on Thursday.
They were caught at the border police outposts.
All of them have been taken to the Titabar Civil Hospital and quarantined there after a health check up.
Titabar SDPO A K Hojai said that among the 13 caught on Wednesday, few were from Mariani and the others were from Karbi Anglong and Golaghat districts.
He further said the seven caught on Thursday were all from Jorhat district, most of them from Mariani itself.