Alappuzha: The double murder of A. P. Cherian, aged 75, and his wife, Lily Cherian (aged 70) at their home have shocked the quite town of Chengannur in Alappuzha district. The police have arrested two suspects Lablu and Jubel, hailing from Bangladesh and working as manual labors. The duo were apprehended by the police while they were escaping by train.
Both Cherian and Lily were hacked to death in their home by Lablu and Jubel with an intention to rob the old couple of their gold ornaments and money. The bodies of the victims were discovered on Tuesday morning. The neighbours said that they did not see the couple since Monday afternoon. The duo came into contact with the victims after they were hired to do odd jobs in the house a day prior to the murder.
Police say that the passport records of the suspects show that they are from Bangladesh. This raises the question of how these two Bangladeshis could manage to reach Kerala and work here for a period of time without being detected?
Currently, Kerala is flooded with manual labourers who come from states such as West Bengal, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, etc. Most of the migrant workers are from West Bengal and they are collectively referred to as ‘Bengalis’.
Rough estimates peg the number of migrant workers in Kerala between 3.5 million to 4 million people in 2017. Some towns like Chengannur could have a migrant population of 10% to 15% of the total population.
The labourers from West Bengal constitute the bulk of the migrant workers coming to Kerala. Most of them are absorbed into the construction works and some are employed as daily labourer in houses.
However, police reports say that infiltrators from Bangladesh have entered the work force in Kerala. They easily mingle with the migrant crowd and identify themselves as coming from West Bengal or Assam.
The presence of huge Muslim population and the lack of police scrutiny helps these Bangladeshi infiltrators live and work in Kerala without much trouble.
It is reported that that some of these illegal migrants hold extreme Islamic views. In 2016, a Bangladeshi native was arrested in Kerala for insulting the national flag. With rackets operating in West Bengal, these infiltrators easily get identity cards to live and work in India.
The constitutive governments of CPI(M) and TMC in West Bengal have done little to stop this menace of Muslim infiltration from Bangladesh into India. On the contrary, it is believed that these governments encourage it to increase the vote base of their party.
The police must be congratulated for arresting the suspects before they could disappear into one of the North Indian cities. However, this incident exposes the vulnerability of Kerala society against unknown Bangladeshi migrants who have no records or true identities. They could commit crimes at will and disappear without a trace, which makes capturing them a daunting task.
The police must not stop at the this but must extend the investigation into how the duo with Bangladeshi passports were able to live and work in Kerala. They must bring to book all those behind the racket that brought Lablu and Jubel to Kerala.
Moreover, another question that will be in everyone’s mind is how many more Lablus and Jubels are living amongst us without proper identity or name.