A crackdown launched by the police against illegal Bangladeshi migrants in the city has left many residents, especially women professionals, helpless, literally. Their domestic helps and maids fail to turn up on work and complain of being "harassed" by the cops.
Residents of the Palam Vihar and other areas have been facing problems in dealing with household chores as most of the families are dependent on domestic helps or part-time maids who reside in nearby localities.
"Our maid called up in the morning today to inform that she would not be able to come for work anymore as she feared police would harass her in the name of questioning," said Aseem Takyar, resident of Sector 23-A.
According to the police, a majority of those employed as domestic helps in different houses are from Bangladesh but several of them have crossed the border illegally.
In the recent past, thefts and other petty crimes have increased in sectors 21, 22, 23, 23-A that come under Palam Vihar police station and cops often detain the migrants for questioning. But, in most of the cases, no concrete evidences are found against them and they are released after questioning.
"Even though most of these Bangladeshis do not have valid documents, their employers hardly care about getting police verifications done before hiring them," said a police officer.
Last week, the police picked up five Bangladeshis in connection with thefts cases. Two of them were arrested while others were released later.
"We question them like we do anybody whenever there is a suspicion," said Palam Vihar police station SHO Kuldeep Singh.
But many migrants living in the area say that they are being harassed by the local police in the name of verifications of their credentials.
"We have come to earn livelihood. There have been incidents when people from Bangladesh have been involved in crimes but not all of us are the same. Police suspect us and torture us every time without any reason," said Rita Hussain, who works as a maid in the area.
Residents also complain that sometimes migrants take advantage of their majority and refuse to come to the terms of their employers. Since most of the women in the area are working professionals, they are compelled to hire them on their terms.
"My maid has refused to come to work and it's difficult to find a new one. But managing the hosuehold chores without a servant is not possible for a working woman," said Sonia Srivastava, a resident of Palam Vihar.