With the arrest of an Assamese labourer in the brutal rape and murder of Jisha, it has given rise to a general feeling that an increase in migrant workers in the state would lead to an escalation in crime.
However, in a judgement delivered on Monday, the Kerala High court has observed that isolating migrant labourers on the contrary, would result in an increase in the crime rate. A single bench headed by Justice K Vinod Chandran made the comment while considering a case, over the unhygienic labour camps of migrant laborers, filed by M A Jose of Ambalamedu.
â€œAn enlightened society has to take steps to assimilate the migrant population into their adopted community, instilling in them a feeling of oneness, which alone could result in working together towards regional aspirations and development, in a country as varied and vibrant as ours. Isolating some and treating them as second class citizens can only lead to backlash by way of crimes against civil society and result in deleterious consequences of widespread public harm and injury, including spread of epidemics,â€œ the judgment stated, The Times of India reports.
Jose had approached the court complaining about a labour camp adjacent to his residence and had alleged that the septic tank waste from the camp is seeping in to his well. He had also produced a lab report after testing the well water which showed the presence of coliform at the rate of 1,600mpn100ml, whereas the permissible limit as per WHO standards is lesser than 2mpn100ml, ToI reports.
An advocate commission appointed by the court had found that about 200 migrant workers live in a camp with just two toilets. It was also found that waste from the toilets was falling inside the kitchen of the petitioner.
The ToI further reports, while ordering Ernakulam district collector to close down the camp, the high court had termed unhygienic and unscientific labour camps a social malady that was now affecting the state.