CHENNAI: In a bid to dial down the panic among migrant labourers working in Tamil Nadu, the Southern India Mills' Association (SIMA) and Confederation of Indian Textile Industry (CITI) released a joint statement and said that the videos showing the attacks on Bihari migrant workers are false. The statement came in the wake of a tweet by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, wherein he took note of media reports and raised concerns regarding alleged attacks on migrant labourers in the southern state.
"There is no clash between the migrant workers and the local workers and the circulation of WhatsApp news is false and not revealing the true state of affairs. This has been highlighted by the DGP. The video clippings [of the attack] have been twisted as if there is a clash between the north Indian and south Indian workers," the joint statement said. "There was a virtual meeting organized by the Coimbatore District Collector among the industry Association wherein, he explained the real position and that there is no truth in the so-called clash among the workers, but at the same time, steps were being taken to give confidence for the migrant workers to work peacefully in Tamil Nadu," it added.
Nitish Kumar on Thursday, raised concerns regarding "attacks" on Bihari migrant labourers working in Tamil Nadu after a purported video of an alleged attack on migrant workers surfaced on social media. However, Tamil Nadu DGP Sylendr Babu refuted the claim and said that the video posted on social media is an old clip and the claim of attack on migrant workers is "false".
"Somebody in Bihar posted false and mischievous videos saying that migrant workers are attacked in Tamil Nadu. Two videos are posted and both are false, these two incidents happened earlier in time in Tiruppur and Coimbatore. Both cases were not a clash between the people of Tamil Nadu and migrant workers. One was a clash between two groups of Bihari migrant workers and another video was a clash between two local residents of Coimbatore," the top cop had said. Nitish Kumar faced heavy backlash in Tamil Nadu after the DGP termed the video as fake.
K Baskaran secretary of the Kakkalur Industrial Estate Manufacturers Association (KIEMA) said that these rumours are affecting MSME industries in the state. The statement by the KIEMA secretary came after many workers at Kakkalur Industrial Estate near Chennai began leaving for their hometowns after Nitish Kumar's concerns.
While speaking to ANI over the phone, KIEMA secretary Baskaran said since the fake news has spread, all migrant labourers are in panic and they keep on receiving calls from their hometowns, asking them to return. He said that this is affecting the small industries in the state badly. Baskaran also said that no such incident happened in Tamil Nadu anywhere and all migrant labourers are safe and the association would stand with them at any time.
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