On Friday, migrant workers who had returned from different parts of the country to Bihar heaved a sigh of relief as the state police headquarters withdrew its earlier letter warning that they would be the source of rise in crimes and deterioration of law and order.
The communication sent to all district magistrates, SPs and Railway police on May 29 had warned the district authorities about rise in crimes committed by the returnees. The letter sent by the additional DG of police (law and order), Amit Kumar expressed fear that those returning from outside Bihar would resort to different types of crime – both in an organised manner and at an individual level. As the letter put it, they were undergoing tension due to a lack of employment. To feed themselves and maintain their families, the migrants can resort to crimes and amoral activities, the letter hypothesised.
The letter, contrary to the claims of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, said it was impossible to provide jobs to the migrants as their number were too great.
“They will commit crimes to earn," the letter said, repeatedly calling them ‘migrants’. This must be mentioned as the Chief Minister had earlier objected to the term, stating that these people were ‘Indians’ like everyone else.
The ADG had also told the DMs and SPs to prepare a working plan to prevent crimes after arrival of the migrants as an adverse effect on the law and order was anticipated.
Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Prasad Yadav alleged that the communique from the police headquarters was an insult to the workers who are already suffering. He had asked the government to withdraw the letter and apologise.
Amit Kumar sent a fresh communication to the SPs and DMs on Friday informing them the letter was sent "inadvertently" and was being withdrawn.
Over 40 lakh workers of Bihar had returned to the state in last two months via Shramik Special trains. They were put in the quarantine centres at different block headquarters and paid Rs 1000 each after completing the statutory quarantine period. These centres are being closed from June 15.
The returnees constitute 72% of the total coronavirus-positive patients in the state.