Suspicion over Bangla migrants in Kodagu

Kodagu (DH File Image)

People suspect that Bangladeshi migrants are settled in coffee estates in Kodagu district.

It is alleged that through employment agencies, these immigrant labourers are working as coolie workers in grocery shops and labourers at hotels and resorts. 

Vishva Hindu Parishad Kodagu district unit general secretary D Narasimha said, “A majority of these migrants have received identity cards from the government. There is an organised network working behind them. Majority of them are engaged in masonry work. It is difficult to identify them as they speak fluently in Kannada as well.” 

“It is said that Bangla migrants reached Kodagu in the guise of labourers from North India when coffee estates faced an acute shortage of labourers. The labourers from the district demand Rs 300 to Rs 350 wages per day, while migrants are paid Rs 100 to Rs 150 per day,” alleged local residents.

According to sources in the Police Department, the police had initiated a move to take up a survey on illegal immigrants two years ago in Kodagu.

However, owing to the work pressure, the natural calamity and shortage of personnel, the survey could not be completed. 

Office-bearers of Bajrang Dal, VHP and BJP had recently staged a protest to appeal the authorities to send migrants back to their native. The police who initiated a survey had even appealed to the estate owners to cooperate during the survey. 

A Bajrang Dal leader said, “There are several Bangla migrants claiming themselves as residents from Assam settled in and around Suntikoppa. When they lost their houses in the landslides last year, they had shifted their base.” 

“Owing to migrants, the local labourers are not getting any employment. There is a need to give priority to the security of the country. If we appeal to estate owners not to employ labourers from North India, they ask us to provide labourers for work in the estate,” said another leader. 

Superintendent of Police Dr Suman D Pennekar said, “No Bangla migrants were found in the district according to a survey conducted by the Police Department. The expected survey could not be carried out in the estates in the district. The survey work will commence after Dasara.” 

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