KOCHI: Local authorities and police are in a shock after migrant labourers from Manipur and Nagaland went on a rampage at Kizhakkambalam on Saturday midnight creating a riot like situation. Police are not ready to take the incident lightly as it's for the first time that migrant labourers have taken to the streets in large numbers and even dared to attack police.
A resentment is brewing within local residents following the incident which occurred at the labour camp of Kitex company. Kitex Group Chairman Sabu M Jacob, who is also the chief coordinator of Twenty20 that is ruling Kizhakkambalam panchayat, said the clash occurred at the labour camp where labourers from Manipur and Nagaland were staying.
"This is for the first time that such a violence is being reported. As per the details collected, a group of labourers were conducting a Christmas carol with songs and dance while another group objected to it as the celebrations went past midnight. Following this a quarrel erupted between the two groups and they started to clash. When our security staff and supervisors intervened, the labourers attacked them. When police team reached the spot, the labourers also attacked them," Sabu said adding that they suspect the labourers were under the influence of some sort of drugs.
"We are worried because there is a gang supplying drugs to these labourers," he said adding that no local residents were attacked by the labourers. Meanwhile, excise and police which conducted a raid at the labour camp has reportedly seized some drugs from the camp.
Excise officials said around three kg of MDMA was recovered from the spot. Kizhakkambalam Panchayat president Mini Ratheesh said they will look into the incident and do the needful to restore peace in the area.
"We are shocked as it's for the first time such an incident has been reported. We need to find out the reasons why the labourers resorted to large scale violence and even dared to attack police personnel which cannot be tolerated," she said.
"It was following the clash between the migrant workers that the police reached the spot at mid-night. When the officials tried to bring the situation under control, the migrant workers unleashed an attack against the officers. They set ablaze a police vehicle and completely damaged another control room vehicle. We have taken 157 people into custody," said district police chief K Karthick.
He said over 300 police personnel have been deployed to bring the situation under control. "More force will be deployed if necessary, "Karthick added.