Election strategist Prashant Kishor on Monday tweeted a video of migrant workers locked up, crying and requesting to be freed. Kishor blamed Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar for the plight of migrant workers and called it a "frightening picture" of the state's handling of the coronavirus crisis.
"One more frightening picture of official efforts to protect people from the coronavirus epidemic - poor migrants who came from various parts of the country after suffering many hardships are subjected to this heart-wrenching arrangement for social distancing and quarantine by Nitish Kumar," said Prashant Kishor tweeted.
According to a report in NDTV, the video is reportedly from Siwan near the border with Uttar Pradesh, around 130 km from state capital Patna.
"Since morning, they have been telling us we will let you go, the bus is coming. But there is no bus. They are not letting us go," says a man in the video. He has his mouth covered with a handkerchief but jostled from all sides in the packed shed.
"Please help us get out. We don't want anything, just let us go," the man says.
Several men take their hands out of the collapsible gate that is locked, showing papers or asking for help.
Police said the migrants could not be allowed to move freely without some processes. "There are certain formalities like taking down all the details of individuals, medical screening and serving food before letting them go to their native areas, which requires some time...we understand people are in a hurry," said Abhinav Kumar, Superintendent of Police, Siwan.
After PM Modi announced a 21-day national lockdown last Tuesday, thousands of migrants across the country, suddenly left without jobs, money or shelter, started heading towards home.
Crowds of migrants have been walking with their belongings and their families, since the public transport has been suspended to check the spread of the virus.