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Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan assures migrant workers' safety, says they are always welcome in the state

Thiruvananthapuram: Rumours that migrant workers were being targeted in the state were unfounded, said Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday and dismissed the messages on social media platforms as "fake news".

According to reports, at least two hotels in Kozhikode had to be shut down as migrant workers left for their states after receiving WhatsApp messages that they were not safe in Kerala.

The social media campaigns have been mostly going on in Kozhikode and Kochi.

File image of Pinarayi Vijayan. PTI

File image of Pinarayi Vijayan. PTI

"It has come to the government's notice that some anti-social elements are spreading rumours among migrant workers in Kerala. There are no confirmed reports of violence or any such unpleasant incidents in the state against them in the recent past," Vijayan said in a Facebook post.

Such rumours are unfounded, he said and urged the workers not to pay attention to such "fake news". They are always welcome in Kerala, the chief minister added.

He strongly condemned the attempts by those with vested interests to "tarnish" the image of Kerala by spreading unrest.

Vijayan said district administrations and police have been directed to take action against spread of such rumours through social media.

Police would be vigilant on Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter and other social media sites to track miscreants spreading such rumours, aiming to create unrest in society, he said.

Pointing out that migrant workers are well taken care of in Kerala, Vijayan said the state government had implemented many welfare schemes for them.

"Kerala's social fabric is made up of mutual brotherhood and respect for the working class because of the result of years of struggle against hate and oppression," he said.

"On behalf of the people of Kerala and the government, I assure all migrant workers from other states once again that they are safe and are always welcome in Kerala," the chief minister said.

Labour Minister T P Ramakrishnan added that the government has already launched an enquiry on the source of such fake campaigns and strong action would be taken against those indulging in the same.

"Efforts are on to find out the source of such fake campaigns," he told reporters here.

The minister said Kerala is "different" from other states as it implements various welfare measures for migrant workers. "Such campaigns could be to portray the government in
poor light," Ramakrishnan said.

There are estimated to be about 25 lakh to 30 lakh migrant workers in Kerala. The government has begun collecting data on them and there are plans to bring them under a medical insurance scheme.

Kerala DGP Loknath Behara, who spoke in Hindi and Bengali, urged workers not to panic and asked them to get in touch with the nearest police station or call him if they face any such situation.

"We are not against anybody. We are very broad-minded. There is no situation in which there are attacks against people from other states," the DGP said.

"I have instituted an enquiry, knowing the limitations of technology. We will find out who is behind such campaigns," he added.

Updated Date: Oct 10, 2017 22:43 PM

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