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Kerala’s migrant presence provides safety blanket for illegal immigrants

Though the state labour department had initiated a process to issue biometric identity cards to migrant workers coming from different parts of the country, it is yet to materialize. 

Published: 21st September 2020 03:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st September 2020 03:56 AM   |  A+A-

A migrant looks through a window during his departure for Odisha by 'Shramik Special' train at Panvel Railway Station amid the ongoing COVID-19 nationwide lockdown in Navi Mumbai

A migrant worker returning to his native on a Shramik Special train. (Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

KOCHI: Taking advantage of the difficulty in tracing suspects amid a large number of migrant workers in Kerala, some groups have been bringing immigrants illegally from Bangladesh evading the radar of intelligence agencies and the police.

According to experts, once they reach India, immigrants obtain fake documents through local agents. Sources said political leaders in parts of West Bengal were also involved in arranging fake documents such as Aadhaar cards for illegal immigrants.

A study by the Gulati Institute of Finance and Taxation, Thiruvananthapuram, says there would be around 50 lakh migrant workers in Kerala, with four states — West Bengal, Assam, Bihar and Odisha — together accounting for 62 per cent of the total migrants. With a share of 20 per cent, West Bengal topped the list.
“The need of the hour is an agency to monitor the influx of migrant workers,” said T K Raj Mohan, a former SP with the National Investigation Agency (NIA). “The government should issue identity cards and introduce a biometric system for migrant workers immediately.” 

Though the state labour department had initiated a process to issue biometric identity cards to migrant workers coming from different parts of the country, it is yet to materialize. According to experts, Kerala is a fertile soil for the indoctrination of people with Islamic fundamentalist ideologies.“A flawed intelligence system is also a reason. The authorities should keep a sharp eye as incidents like the Panayikulam SIMI case, Narath case and the professor’s hand-chopping at Muvattupuzha have happened in the state,” said an officer. In 2016, NIA had arrested six persons from Kanakamala who allegedly plotted terror attacks in the country.



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