11 April 2020, Mumbai: Migrant workers, who are all Muslim, belong to different districts in West Bengal. Many migrated to Mumbai over a decade ago and have been working at different garments units for a meager payment of Rs 350-500 for over 12-14 hours of work. Laborers said since they spoke Bengali and belonged to the Muslim community, they were always looked at with suspicion and had become easy targets of the local political and police ire as being a Bangladeshi infiltrator. Mosibur Shaikh said that each time the labourers lined up for food, they were told that the food was not for them. “The food is clearly organised for those in need but we are not counted in them. We are driven away after being told that we are “outsiders”. When one of us argued and demanded that food be made available to all, someone in the crowd called us Bangladeshis. We retreated immediately,” said Mosibur and claimed that the police too had been particularly harsh and had caned people who had queued up for food. Abdul Shaikh, a young labourer from Birbhum in West Bengal said that it was not the hunger that had been bothering him as much but the humiliation that he and his co-workers were made to endure. “Hum kamaate the aur hum khaate they, kissi ke saamne haath nahi failaaya kabhi. Lekin aaj who bhi karna padh raha hai (We earned and we ate, we never had to beg before anyone. But today we have to do that too),” Shaikh said. Since the countrywide lockdown was announced on March 21, the workers here have not been paid. “For a few days, our employers gave us some pocket money and, on some days, arranged for a one-time meal, but that too has stopped. We have absolutely no money left with us,” says Tahir Shaikh.