16 Bangla youths detained in Kerala

Police on Sunday detained 16 Bangladeshi youths who were staying in Kerala without proper identification documents. They were nabbed along with 20 other migrant workers from Northern states.

Officials belonging to Crime Branch and state intelligence departments arrested the workers after a dawn-to-dusk raid at various brick kilns and their residing places at Nedumbassery, Chemangad and Athani near Kochi.

Police said the Bangladeshi youths had been staying in the country without any travel documents. They had reached Kerala from Bengal after sneaking into the latter through the porous border. Police said their illegal stay came to their notice while monitoring the overseas calls originating from the state. They had been making frequent calls to Bangladesh. Police said they were being questioned by various security agencies and would be produced before the court on Monday.

Meanwhile, hundreds of migrant workers, mainly from North-East states and villages bordering Bangladesh, fled to their native place from Paipad in Kottayam district, following altercations with local residents over the littering of the area with waste.

Nearly 10,000 migrant workers are residing in sheds with no basic amenities at the nondescript village. Some landowners pitch hovels on their plots and rent them out to workers. Nearly 15 to 20 workers  stay in a 150 sq ft room.  The waste generated at the barrack-like accommodation is collected and dumped at open places, which has agitated the local residents.

Residents also suspect their role in high incidents of theft and chain snatching in the village. “Many of them claim they are from West Bengal, but we do not believe it. Many may be from Bangladesh,’’ Bemoans Thomas Kutty, a local resident said.

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