Letter from Bihar police HQ calls migrant labourers ‘criminals’, withdrawn

Tejashwi Yadav
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav addressing a press conference in Patna on Friday. ANI

The Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government has landed itself in a soup after a recent letter from Bihar Police Headquarters on 29 May, raised apprehensions that migrant labourers might allegedly resort to criminal activities over financial hardships brought to them during the coronavirus pandemic.

The letter, which was issued by Bihar police ADG to all the District Magistrates and SPs, asked them to take remedial steps to tackle law and order situation in the state as migrant labourers were going through financial hardships and might resort to criminal activities. After widespread criticism, it was later withdrawn on Friday and Bihar ADG called it a mistake.

The Bihar government has already been receiving a huge resentment and backlash from the opposition parties on the poor handling of the migrant labourers’ crisis and the coronavirus situation in the state and this letter has invited fresh troubles for it. Leader of Opposition and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav fired fresh salvos at Nitish Kumar and called the letter shameful.

While condemning the letter, he also tore a copy of it in front of media personnel on Friday and demanded apology from Nitish Kumar and Deputy CM Sushil Modi. He termed the letter as inhuman and said that it painted all the migrant labourers with one brush as criminals. He also raised questions on the tall claims made of meaningful employment and job opportunities for migrant labourers by the state government.

Meanwhile, the ruling party JD-U has downplayed the whole issue. While reminding Tejashwi Yadav about the repercussions of tearing an official letter, JDU leader Neeraj Kumar told The Daily Guardian that Yadav shouldn’t be preaching morality as his own father (RJD Chief Lalu Prasad Yadav) is serving a jail term after being found guilty in a corruption case.