Illegal Bangladeshi Immigrants Take Advantage Of Covid-19 Situation To Gain Employment In Tiruppur In Tamil Nadu; Some Identified In Kerala

by M R Subramani - Jun 11, 2020 01:25 PM +05:30 IST
Illegal Bangladeshi Immigrants Take Advantage Of Covid-19 Situation To Gain Employment In Tiruppur In Tamil Nadu; Some Identified In Kerala(Representative image) 
  • A Tamil daily reports that over the last three months, many illegal immigrants from Bangladesh had entered Kerala, according to Intelligence reports.

Illegal Bangladesh immigrants who have intruded into the country are trying to take advantage of the crisis created by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) situation in south India, especially due to return of migrants to their homes, for gaining employment.

In particular, these Bangladeshi immigrants are now camping in Tiruppur in Tamil Nadu to get employment in the knitwear industry, which is looking for workers in the hosiery town after thousands of migrant workers left for home, reported Tamil daily Dinakaran.

Dinakaran is run by the Sun Group, headed by Kalanidhi Maran, brother of Dravida Munnetra Kazahgam (DMK) Member of Parliament (MP) Dayanidhi Maran.

The daily said the illegal immigrants had entered Ernakulam district in Kerala too and added that a six-member Bangladeshi family had been identified at Cherai village in the district after it violated the nationwide lockdown regulations.

The illegal Bangladeshis were identified by the Kerala media, which was shocked to learn that the family was part of a 15-member immigrants’ team.

Most of these Bangladeshis were employed as daily workers, earning up to Rs 800 a day.

The daily said that over the last three months, many illegal immigrants from Bangladesh had entered Kerala, according to intelligence reports.

The daily quoted officials as saying that they were unable to control the intrusion since some unscrupulous Indians were helping them. These illegal immigrants had five to six fake identity cards each.

The daily said that Tiruppur had emerged as the primary place where fake Aadhaar cards are being manufactured for these illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.

Agents, who get the fake Aadhaar cards manufactured, charge Rs 2,500 per card and they mainly hailed from states such as Odisha and Bihar.

The daily quoted intelligence officials as saying that their job stopped with providing information on these illegal immigrants to the Union and state governments. The governments concerned should order action against these immigrants, they said.

The daily quoted the Bangladeshi family in Cherai questioning the media for targeting them. The family is reported to have said that hundreds of such immigrants have spread across the region, besides many others working in Tiruppur.

Last month, Swarajya reported that Tamil Nadu police let illegal Bangladeshi immigrants go scot-free on the outskirts of Chennai after they were identified following a dispute over sharing Covid-19 relief materials.

These immigrants had found their way to Chennai suburbs from Benguluru, where, too, such illegal Bangladeshis are reported to be working.

Two weeks ago, media reports in Kerala said that illegal Bangladesh immigrants who were in the southern state had nowhere to go when migrants from other Indian states were returning home due to the coronavirus situation.

Non-government organisations (NGOs) which are involved in working for the rights of migrant workers in Kerala are unable to provide the exact number of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants working in the state.

In January last year, New Indian Express reported that Kochi, Kerala’s financial capital, has emerged as the new hotspot for illegal Bangladesh immigrants besides Rohingyas.

In March 2018, seven illegal immigrants working at a plywood unit were arrested by Kerala police.

In November 2018, Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi reported that Kerala police was finding it tough to identify illegal Bangladesh immigrants, who had sneaked into the state with migrants from eastern part of the country.

The police realised this while investigating robbery cases and stumbled on the startling fact that in Kannur region alone, hundreds of illegal immigrants were residing.

During the investigation, police checked mobile call records and were stunned to find thousands of calls being made to Bangladesh every day.

Interestingly, some of the illegal Bangladesh immigrants took part in a protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act 2019, organised by the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam at Tambaram, a Chennai suburb.

M.R. Subramani is Executive Editor, Swarajya. He tweets @mrsubramani

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