KOLKATA: The districts along the India-Bangladesh border region in West Bengal have decided to prepare a database of migrant labourers.
The move is said to be initiated in the wake of Kulgram carnage, in which five workers of Murshidabad district were gunned down by terrorists.
These districts have almost an equal percentage of Hindus and Muslims living there.
The state government, since it came to power in 2011, has floated a number of beneficiary schemes for Muslims giving the Opposition opportunities to raise their voice against CM Mamata Banerjee’s appeasement policy and use it as a political tool to combat the ruling party in the electoral process.
“We will prepare the database to draw a clear picture of migrant workers’ present socio-economic status. The data bank will also identify the migrant labourers by their religion. The database will help us to reach out to families of migrant workers if they are in crisis in other states,’’ said a state government official.
Murshidabad and Nadia districts hold the record for the highest migration of workers. Malda, North and South Dinajpur, too, supply a considerable number of workers in other parts of the country, including Kashmir, said the official.
A section of bureaucrats, however, found the decision of preparing a database as a political move ahead of the Assembly elections in 2021.
“Five Muslim workers were killed in Kashmir and the rival political parties highlighted Bengal’s joblessness issue which allegedly had forced them to go to Kashmir. Collecting data about migrant workers is part of a process to assess the volume of such people who leave in search of jobs. On the basis of the findings, the state government may announce fresh schemes which will benefit migrant workers,’’ said a senior government official.