Police verify documents of plantation labourers

Police verify identity documents of plantation labourers

Migrant labourers come out of Crystal Hall after police verification of their identity documents, in Madikeri on Thursday. DH Photo

The Kodagu police on Thursday conducted a massive verification of identity documents of labourers working in various coffee plantations across the district.

The plantation owners brought their labourers to verification centres set up at Crystal Hall in Madikeri and other two venues in the district. The police had issued directions to the plantation owners in this regard earlier. The labourers were ferried back after the completion of verification.

The police officials scrutinised Aadhaar card, voter ID card, bank pass book, PAN card and LIC bonds of the labourers. They collected photocopies these documents.

Sources clarified that the scrutiny of documents had nothing to do with the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. The process was carried out in the wake of suspicions of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh being deployed for work in various coffee plantations in Kodagu.

The operation is being carried out under the leadership of Superintendent of Police Dr Suman D Pennekar, following information about extremist groups hatching plan to set up camps in Gonikoppa in Virajpet taluk.

Gautham, a plantation owner, said that all the documents sought by the police were submitted. There are 11 labourers from other states, working in his plantation. However, there is none from Bangladesh, he added. Somu, a labourer said that he is an Indian and has come to work in plantations for his livelihood.

Addressing mediaperspons during a press conference, SP Dr Suman D Pennekar said that the police had received information about workers from West Bengal, Bihar, Assam and Uttar Pradesh, working in various coffee plantations, resorts and construction sites in Kodagu.

“In the wake of various incidents occurring across the country, the identity documents of the workers in the plantation documents were scrutinised to collection information on migrant labourers,” she said.

The SP said that present time was chosen for the scrutiny as the migrant labourers return to their native places after the coffee harvesting season.

“The documents of around 5,000 labourers were verified in the first round and among them, 500 failed to produce relevant documents. Also, there have been several cases of mismatch of names. Time has been given to such labourers to correct their names in their identity cards”, the SP said.

The document scrutiny has no connection with CAA or NRC. No directions in this regard have been issued by the government either, the SP clarified. She warned of initiating disciplinary action against people spreading rumours on the verification of documents. The SP also stated that documents were verified with the sole objective of ensuring law and order and the second round of verification would be conducted soon.

Leaders of Hindu outfits had recently alleged that illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, were working in plantations, claiming themselves to be the workers from Assam. Hindu Jagarana Vedike and Bajrang Dal had claimed that the plantation owners employ such immigrants and provide them with shelter as these workers demand less wages compared to the local workers.

 

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