Bihar govt red-faced, top cop retracts letter linking migrants and crimeUpdated: Jun 05, 2020 23:05 IST
Following a major embarrassment to the state government, the Bihar Police brass Friday hastily withdrew a controversial letter earlier issued by its headquarter, which had warned district police chiefs and senior police officers of a likely spurt in crime because of influx of migrant workers returning home and even stated it would not be possible to give jobs to them despite claims by the government.
The one-line retraction, though dated June 4, was issued shortly after Leader of Opposition Tejashwi Yadav held a press conference on the issue Friday and accused the government of insulting the migrant workers.
Assembly elections in Bihar are due later this year.
Only days ago, chief minister Nitish Kumar had taken exception to the use of word “migrants” to refer to natives of Bihar working in other states, saying they were all citizens of the country.
The controversial letter, which came into public domain on Friday, was issued on May 29 by additional director general (law and order) Amit Kumar.
“Despite government’s best efforts, there is a possibility that all migrant workers will not get desired job opportunities. They may resort to anti-social activities to maintain their families, creating law and order problems,” the letter, sent to district magistrates and superintendents of police, read.
After the letter became public on Friday, RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav called a press conference to attack the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government. “Chief minister Nitish Kumar is also in charge of home department. If such a letter is issued right under his nose, it shows it has been done with his nod. Migrant labourers are our brothers and sisters and they came here because it is their state,” he said.
All India Congress Committee’s media panellist and MLC Prem Chandra Mishra said the letter was a reflection of the anti-labourer mindset of the ruling dispensation.
Shortly after the RJD leader’s presser, state’s director general of police (DGP) Gupteshwar Pandey addressed a virtual press conference. “We keep on getting information from different sources and this particular information also came through a source and was disseminated. Bus as soon as we realised it was a mistake and the information was not worth disseminating, we withdrew the letter,” Pandey said at the presser lasting a few minutes.
The retraction letter, signed again by ADG Amit Kumar, said, “The May 29 letter was issued by mistake. It’s retracted with immediate effect.”
Senior officials in the state’s home department said that it was the first time in the last 15 years that the police headquarters had to withdraw any order soon after it was issued.