Police arrest biggest group of illegal Bangladeshis in Kerala; 35 nabbed

Police in Kerala have arrested 35 people in Malappuram district on suspicions of being illegal Bangladeshi citizens staying in India.

The arrests were made in Edavannapara in the Muslim-dominated district.

Police sources said that the arrests are likely to lead to an acceleration in investigations into illegal Bangladeshis staying in Kerala.

Kerala has millions of out-of-state workers, mostly manual laborers, who came to the state over the last 7-8 years. Kerala offers a daily pay of around Rs 800 for a manual laborer, which is much higher than the wage rates prevalent in other parts of the country.

The laborers introduce themselves as ‘Bengalis’, and a large portion of them are expected to be those who illegally crossed over to India in search of better economic prospects.

Job prospects in Bangladesh are not as rosy as those in India, particularly in South India, due to high population growth rates in Bangladesh.

This is the highest number of arrests of Bangladeshi citizens to be carried out in Kerala. Arrests have been made starting from around 2010.

In 2015, the police arrested seven people near Kochi on suspicions of being illegal Bangladeshi workers.

Rising influx of economic migrants have led to an increase in crime rates in the peaceful state.

According to the New Indian Express, police have registered 323 incidents of crimes involving migrant labourers in the last five years in the state.

In the Ernakulam Rural police station limits, there have been 38 murders in 2012-2016. Out of these, at least 32 are directly or indirectly linked to migrant labourers, according to the paper.

A Bengali-speaking migrant laborer, Amiyur Islam, was arrested last year in a high-profile rape and murder case.