Identifying illegal migrants a challenge: C’magaluru SP

SP Harish Pande

Hundreds of labourers from Assam, Nagaland and Chhattisgarh are working in coffee estates in the district. Majority of these labourers possess Aadhaar and voters identity cards. It is a challenge to identify illegal migrants by identifying their fake identity cards. 

According to police, “An illegal migrant from Bangladesh was traced at Uppalli in 2016. After an inquiry, he was sent back to Bangladesh.” 

According to Assistant Labour Commissioner K G Johnson, “As many as 340 coffee estate owners have registered in the district. As per the information furnished by the estate owners, there are over 15,000 labourers working in the coffee estates.”  

“Majority of them possess identity cards. It is difficult to identify whether they are genuine cards,” he said.

Majority of these labourers are working in estates at Chikkamagaluru, Mudigere, N R Pura and Koppa. 

Byavish, a worker at a canteen said, “We seven youth had come from Nagaland and are working in hotels from the last eight months. We came here through a person who was known to us. 

According to activist Gajendra Gorasakoodige said, “There are possibilities of migrants coming from Bangladesh and staying in Assam for few years to get Aadhaar and other identity cards. After availing the identity cards, they would have come down to Chikkamagaluru. There are 15 labourers from Assam working in my brother’s estate at Balehole in N R Pura taluk. They are staying in line houses inside the estate.” 

Speaking to DH, SP Harish Pande said, “It is estimated that 6,000 labourers from Assam, West Bengal and other states are working in coffee estates in Chikkamagaluru. We had sent 15 Aadhaar cards for verification, of which seven were found to be fake. All the seven fake cardholders were from Assam and fled from the district.” 

The SP said, “We get an immediate reply from Assam after sending identity cards for verification. We fail to get any reply from West Bengal. We are vigilant on the movement of labourers from Assam, West Bengal and other states. However, it is a challenge to identify illegal immigrants.” 

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