In viral videos, police were seen resorting to mild cane-charge to disperse the migrants, who had gathered at the bus depot near the Bandra railway station in suburban Mumbai.
Most of these migrant workers were from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Bihar, and they reside in nearby slums and other areas on rent.
The daily wage earners were demanding arrangement of transport facilities so that they can go back to their native towns and villages.
The gathering in Mumbai came close on the heels of a violent protest last week by migrant workers in Surat, who, too, were demanding that they be sent back to their native places.
Daily wage workers have been rendered jobless ever since the lockdown
was announced late last month to stem the spread of COVID-19, making their life a constant struggle.
Though authorities and NGOs have made arrangements for their food, most of them want to go back to their native places to escape the hardship brought by the sweeping curbs on movement of people. Train and bus services were suspended as part of the lockdown exercise.
Maharashtra Home Minister Anil Deshmukh said the migrant workers who gathered outside Bandra railway station might have expected that the PM would order reopening of state borders.
They were told by the police that borders are not going to be opened and the situation was now under control, Deshmukh said.
The migrants were assured that the state government will make arrangement of food and accommodation for them, following which the crowds dispersed, the minister said.
The gathering triggered a blame-game between the Shiv Sena-led government and the opposition BJP.
Tourism Minister Aaditya Thackeray blamed the Centre for the protest by the migrant workers and sought a road map to facilitate their journey back to their native places.
In a series of tweets, Thackeray said, "The current situation in Bandra, now dispersed or even the rioting in Surat is a result of the union government not being able to take a call on arranging a way back home migrant labour."
"They don't want food or shelter, they want to go back home," Thackeray said. He said feedback from all migrant labour camps is similar - that these workers want to go back to their native places.
"Many are refusing to eat or stay in these camps," he said. Currently, more than six lakh people are housed in various shelter camps across Maharashtra, he added.
Describing the Bandra gathering as an intelligence failure, former BJP MP Kirit Somaiya said the state government should explain how so many people gathered at a spot despite the lockdown.
BJP leader and former minister Ashish Shelar said the protest shows failure of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government in enforcing lockdown.
Lockdown should be made successful because it is for the safety of people, who should be provided with foods and other essential commodities at their doorstep, Shelar said.
Additional CP Manoj Sharma said, "These all are local residents. A large number of people reside in this locality (Bandra), no legal action has been taken yet."
According to a police official, the daily wage earners assembled at the bus depot and squatted on the road leading to the suburban railway station.
Local Congress MLA Zeeshan Siddique said this situation arose when people came to know about the lockdown extension.
"This is not a government failure, because we are also monitoring the situation from the very beginning. I personally distributed essential commodities to more than 50,000 people. Under such a situation police should talk politely with the common man," Siddique said.
One of the labourers, who did not reveal his name, said, NGOs and local residents are providing food to migrant workers, but they want to go back to their native states as the lockdown has affected their source of livelihood.
"Now, we don't want food, we want to go back to our native place, we are not happy with the announcement (extending the lockdown)," he said.
Asadullah Sheikh, who hails from from Malda in West Bengal, said, "We have spent our savings during the first phase of the lockdown. We have nothing to eat now, we just want to go back at our native place, the government should made arrangements for us."
Another labourer, Abdul Kayyun, said, "I am in Mumbai for last many years but have never seen such a situation. The government should start trains to shift us from here to our native place."
Hundreds of migrant workers took to the streets of Mumbra town in Thane district on Tuesday, demanding that they be sent to their hometowns in light of the COVID-19 lockdown, which has rendered them jobless.
Workers, mostly from Jharkhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh, who live in rented accommodations, claimed house-owners were demanding rent from them and they were unable to procure essentials.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray sought to reassure migrant workers that lockdown was not "lock-up", and appealed them to stay back.
Conducting a live webscast on the coronavirus
situation in the state, Thackeray briefly also spoke in Hindi, and stated that his administration was looking after migrant workers.