In four cases of house burglaries that were reported overnight at Rajamangalam and J.J. Nagar in the city recently, the suspects hardly left any clues behind but for a couple of fingerprints. Taking into consideration the number of undetected thefts and the increasing number of new fingerprints lifted from scene of crimes, investigators are looking beyond habitual offenders.

The unrestricted flow of migrant workers from across the country to Chennai and its suburbs where they are engaged in construction activities has emerged a cause for concern. Police say the identity, address and antecedents of these workers are usually not verified by contractors or agents who engage them.

“Many workers come from Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar and Jharkhand. Since most of them are usually paid on a daily basis, they quit work at will. While returning to their hometowns, the possibility of such workers indulging in offences cannot be ruled out,” says Deputy Commissioner of Police (Triplicane) T.S. Anbu.

Migrant workers are camping in large numbers at Nolambur, Adyar, T. Nagar, Anna Nagar, East Coast Road and the adjoining areas where construction activities take place during most parts of the year.

“There is a tendency to go for cheap labour…but that should not be at the cost of security. Contractors hiring labourers from other States should have a database comprising their photograph and address,” Mr. Anbu says.

According to a senior police official, hundreds of workers from different States were engaged in the construction of the new Assembly and Secretariat complex.

“Steps were taken to ensure that every worker was identified. It was only after contractors gave an undertaking identifying the workers that the police issued entry passes. There have been many instances of people from Jharkhand and West Bengal indulging in the circulation of counterfeit currency notes,” he said. Another aspect that is worrying law-enforcing agencies is the large number of trucks that come from all over the country. Drivers, cleaners and loadmen associated with the vehicles move around the Ennore, Puzhal, Avadi, Kolathur, Rajamangalam, Tiruvottiyur and Koyambedu areas.

Surveillance mechanism

“They park the trucks along these stretches to take a break or have food. It is not that we are suspecting these people. But we must know who is coming and going as the number is high…there must be some surveillance mechanism,” the official added.

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