Security issues related to the presence of a huge floating migrant population has been highlighted once again with the Aluva police stumbling upon a network of criminals during an investigation into a burglary case. The interrogation of a four-member gang from Assam and West Bengal arrested in connection with a burglary at a mobile phone shop in Aluva led to arrest of a drug peddler, also from West Bengal.

Aluva police team led by Circle Inspector S. Jayakrishnan was probing the burglary of a mobile shop near Bank Junction in Aluva. Mobile phones worth Rs. one lakh, recharge coupons for Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 8,000 were stolen from the shop on November 30. Probe revealed that a group of Hindi-speaking persons were spotted near the shop on the day of crime.

According to the police, further inquiry led to a group of “criminals” staying with migrant labourers camped at Perumbavoor. Mofisul Biswas, 25, Sajak Islam, 24, and Shadib-ul-Haq, 20, of Murshidabad, West Bengal; and Mohammed Mizabul, 20, Nagan district, Assam, were part of the gang that used the cover of migrant labourers. They did not take up work but stayed with the workers. They used to sell some of the stolen goods among these labourers and take the rest of the material to their places. A person named ‘Pocha’, brother of Shadib-ul-Haq, is currently missing from the group and is suspected to have gone back with mobile phones.

Further interrogation of the accused led to cracking of burglaries at shops in Thayikkattukara, Aluva and Kadungallur recently. Most of the phones and recharge coupons stolen from the shops were recovered from the accused.

They used to be frequently on the move to evade arrest. The accused were produced before the Aluva Judicial First Class Magistrate and remanded in custody.

In a related development, the interrogation of Mofisul Biswas spilled the information about Alamkeer Biswas, 38, also from Murshidabad. He had earlier been arrested with nearly one kilogram of marijuana, and had gone into hiding after coming out on bail. When he was arrested on Friday from near Fourth Mile at Aluva on the basis of a tip-off, the accused had brown sugar and 20 ampoules of tranquilisers. The inability of the police to track the movement of this floating population has once again raised serious questions on security. It has also been brought to the notice of the police that some of the migrant labourers tried to spend currency notes of bigger denominations (Rs. 1,000) at provision stores, which is a clear indication of fake currency.

There had been earlier instances where fake notes printed across the border were smuggled into Assam and West Bengal and dispensed through migrant labourers on the move. With neither the police nor the Department of Labour having any information about the migrant labourers, it has become a cover for criminal activities. There are pockets of migrant population in Aluva-Perumbavoor belt of rural district.

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