Migrant workers in Kerala still out of radar

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | ARJUN RAGHUNATH
Published Jun 9, 2016, 7:39 am IST
Updated Jun 9, 2016, 7:39 am IST
During the last 5 years, 1,770 cases having migrants as accused were registered.
A migrant labour camp in Ernakulam. (Photo: DC FILE)
 A migrant labour camp in Ernakulam. (Photo: DC FILE)

Thiruvananthapuram: As the increasing flow of migrants into the state raises security and social concerns, the police and labour departments are working out an effective monitoring mechanism.

While the labour department is chalking out certain insurance-linked schemes to woo migrants to get enroled, the police is thinking of some technology-backed projects to create a database of the migrants.

 

During the last five years, 1,770 cases registered in the state in which migrants were accused. Drug trafficking, fake currency, robbery are the major cases involving migrants, while there were brutal murder cases also in which migrants were involved.

The triple murder of a couple and their son in Kottayam and killing of a toddy shop worker in Alappuzha and stuffing his body in the refrigerator were among the recent instances of heinous crimes by migrant workers. Incidents of migrants circulating fake currency notes suspected to be printed in Pakistan were also reported in the state and are being probed by the National Investigation Agency.

Migrant crimesMigrant crimes

The excise and police had also held scores of migrants for smuggling ganja into the state in bulk quantities. There were even intelligence alerts against the presence of illegally migrated Bangladeshis under the cover of migrant workers.

Even as studies suggested that there are about 25 lakh migrants here, the state did not have any authentic records. Though the labour department earlier initiated an enrolment scheme for them, only around 55,000 could be enrolled to date. Efforts of police to create a register of migrant workers through police stations also did not yield much result.

State police chief Loknath Behera said that monitoring migrants was a serious and sensitive issue as any sorts of restriction on free movement of a citizen in the country could amount to the violation of the Constitution.

"May be only less than five percent of the migrants coming here are having some criminal intention. But it is essential for the state's security to weed out such elements. Hence, we are now exploring the option of creating a database of migrants with the support of technology. Legal opinions would also be sought," said Mr Behera.

Labour department sources said that since it was not possible to force the migrant workers to get enrolled, incentive-linked schemes might help woo them. It is learnt that the labour department is giving shape to an insurance-linked scheme.





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