Jedarpalayam from Tamil Nadu is tensed in the aftermath of the attack on migrant workers
CHENNAI, May 20 (IANS) Jedarpalayam in Namakkal district of Tamil Nadu is famous for its jaggery units, which have more than 100 units in the district. The jaggery units now employ migrant workers from West Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Jharkhand.
According to sources in the Namakkal district labor office, each jaggery unit employed around 50-75 migrant workers and there was perfect harmony between the locals and the migrant workers.
However, the relationship became traumatic after a 27-year-old girl, Nithya was found murdered on 11 March 2023. Police during investigation found a 17-year-old migrant worker working in the jaggery unit to be the culprit. And the girl, according to the police, tried to prevent the sexual adventures of migrant workers. He developed a grudge and killed her.
After the arrest of the boy in the Nithya murder case, the locals wanted the owners of the Jagri unit in Geddarpalayam to bring back the migrant workers, and after this fell on deaf ears, the migrant workers were attacked.
Many of the jaggery units operating in the barns were destroyed, some were burned while others were demolished by local residents. Even after Shreya B Singh, the neighborhood collector, attempts reconciliation, the issue is not resolved.
This issue got completely out of control after local residents set fire to a temporary accommodation for migrant workers in Geddarpalayam on May 14 which resulted in the death of 19-year-old worker, Rakesh from Odisha. The Islamic Information Zone Police said that unidentified persons infiltrated the temporary residence late at night, poured kerosene and set it on fire.
Rakesh succumbed to his injuries, but three others, Sukkoram, 27, Wishwant, 18, and Gokul, 23, from Chhattisgarh, escaped with minor injuries and out of danger.
The collector of Namakkal district, Shriya P. Singh, held discussions with jaggery unit manufacturers, migrants and locals, and a heavy police unit was deployed in Geddarpalayam.
However, even after more than 600 policemen and 10 checkpoints were present, a banana plantation belonging to Murugesan was completely destroyed on Thursday night.
Murugesan is closely associated with Muthuswamy and is the owner of the jaggery unit which employed the deceased migrant worker Rakesh.
With the destruction of the banana plantation, the police began the investigation and according to the police version, only the locals could destroy the banana plantation because the entry of others into the plantation was not possible, given the large presence of locals in the area.
The locals are of the opinion that more people are involved in killing Nitya and not a single 17-year-old can be charged.
KM Kuppuswamy, a local jaggery unit owner, while talking to IANS, said, “Namakkal is an industrial area, with whites, jaggery is the main occupation of the people and Nitya’s death has turned into a major problem with the locals not coping with migrant workers. We, the unit owners are suffering and if If the police don’t take drastic measures, things will get out of hand.”
He said that despite the presence of police checkpoints and heavy police units, the locals wanted CB-CID to investigate Nitya’s murder.
The state chief of police, C.J. Silendrababu, has already referred the case to CB-CID.
aal / United Kingdom /