Kerala Kaumudi Online
Saturday, 13 April 2024 3.57 AM IST

Are migrant workers turning Kerala into new crime capital?


It has now turned normal for people in Kerala to not feel shocked by the grave atrocities committed by the huge chunk of migrant workers settled in the state. The latest into the list of barbaric crimes includes an Odisha native pushing a TTE from a train to death in Thrissur.

It was just one day before that a north Indian family brutally manhandled a senile man to death, for not showing propriety with their pet dog. Kerala is inclusive and we welcome people from across the country to make this place your home. But what can we do if such guests are turning into a threat to the residents here?

The infamous Soumya murder case and Jisha murder case that shocked Kerala, had the dark stains of migrant workers behind the crime. After the horrific rape murder of a four-year-old in Aluva, the government announced certain reforms to quell the crimes committed by migrant workers. However, nothing productive happened and it is a shame.

Amidst the rising murders, it is worth reminding that the government does not even have the exact number of workers who come from across the border and settle in many parts of the state!

Police estimate that after 2016, there were 10,546 crimes involving migrant workers in the state! A good number of criminals after conducting the crime, have fled to their native land and are still at large.

The government keeps the count on migrant workers by simply checking the total number of registrations made in the Awas health insurance scheme. Only 5,16,320 labourers have registered in the portal. This is at a time when the officials believe that there are at least 35 lakh migrant workers who are living and working in different districts of the state.

Among this 35 lakh, there are history sheeters, dreaded criminals, drug addicts and nightwalkers who prey on young children in residential areas. The Kerala police are helpless in this case. They won’t get any information about the previous crime committed by these people nor they find their hometown location.

It is pertinent for the district administrations and the police to have accurate data about the number of migrant workers in the state, where they are from, their crime background, registered police cases, their health information, past treatment information, contact information, and financial transactions. There should be periodic lightning checks at the residences of foreign workers. Strict legal action should be taken against those caught for crimes. The contractors who protect them should be sued and fined.

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